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Full text of "Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey."

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WILEY AND PUTNAM'S 

LIBRARY OF 

CHOICE READING. 



REMINISOENCES OF SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE 



ROBERT SOUTHEY. 



REMINISCENCES 



SAMUEL TAYLOB COLERIDGE 



AND 



ROBERT SOU THEY 



JOSEPH COTTLE. 



NEW YORK: 
WILEY AND PUTNAM, 161 BROADWAY. 

1848. 



Ma. 



INTRODUCTION. 



It is with a solemnized feeling that I enter on these 
Reminiscences. Except one, I have survived all the asso- 
ciates of my earlier days. The young, with a long life in 
perspective, (if any life can be called long, in so brief an 
existence,) are unable to realize the impressions of a man, 
nearer eighty than seventy, when the shadows of evening 
are gathering around, and, in a retrospective glance, the 
whole field of past vision appears, in all its complexities, 
like the indistinct tumults of a dream. The acute reasoner — 
the fiery poHtician — the eager polemic — the emulous aspi- 
rant after fame ; and many such have I known, where are 
they? and how mournful, if any one of them should be found, 
at last, to have directed his solicitudes alone to material 
objects ; — should have neglected to cultivate his own little 
plot of earth, more valuable than mines ! and have sown 
no seeds for eternity. It is not a light motive which could 
have prompted me, when this world of *' Eye and Ear" is 
fast receding, while grander scenes are opening, and so 
near ! to call up almost long- forgotten associations, and to 
dwell on the stirring, by-gone, occurrences that tend, in 
some measure, to interfere with that calm which is most 



INTRODUCTION. 



desirable, and best accords with the feelings of one who 
holds Hfe by such slender ties. Yet through the goodness 
of the Ahiiighty, behig at the present moment exempt from 
many of the common infirmities of age, I am willing, as a 
last act, .to make some sacrifice to obtain the good which I 
hope this recurrence to the past is calculated to produce. 

With respect to Mr. Coleridge, it would be easy and 
pleasant to sail with the stream ; to admire his eloquence ; 
to extol his genius ; and to forget his failings ; but where 
is the utility, arising out of this homage paid to naked 
talent ? If the attention of posterity rested here, where 
were the lessons of wisdom to be learnt from his example ? 
His path through the world was marked by strong outlines, 
and instruction is to be derived from every feature of his 
mind, and every portion of his eventful and checkered life. 
In all the aspects of his character, he was probably the 
most singular man that has* appeared in this country during 
the preceding century, and the leading incidents of whose 
life ought to stand fairly on record. The facts which I 
have stated are undeniable, the most important being 
substantiated by his own letters ; but higher objects were 
intended by this narrative than merely to elucidate a char- 
acter, (however remarkable,) in all its vicissitudes and 
eccentricities. Rising above idle curiosity, or the desire of 
furnishing aliment for the sentimental; — excitement the 
object, and the moral tendency disregarded, these pages 
take a wider range, and are designed for the good of many, 
where if there be much to pain the reader, he should 
moderate his regrets, by looking through the intermediate 
to the end. 

There is scarcely an individual, whose life, if justly 
delineated, would not present much whence others might 



INTRODUCTION. 



derive instruction. If this be applicable to the multitude, 
how much more essentially true is it, in reference to the 
ethereal spirits, endowed by the Supreme with a lavish 
portion of intellectual strength, as well as with proportionate 
capacities for doing good ? How serious therefore is the 
obligation to fidelity, when the portraiture of a man is to 
be presented, like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in whom such 
diversified and contrary qualities alternately predominated ! 
Yet all the advantages to be derived from him, and similar 
instructors of mankind, must result from a faithful exhibi- 
tion of the broad features of their earthly conduct and 
character, so that they might stand out as landmarks, and 
Pharos-towers, to guide, or warn, or encourage^ all suc- 
ceeding voyagers on the Ocean of Life. 

In preparing the following work, I should gladly have 
withheld that one letter of Mr. Coleridge to Mr. Wade, 
had not the obligation to make it public been imperative. 
But concealment would have been injustice to the living, 
and treachery to the dead. This letter is the solemnizing 
voice of conscience. Can any reflecting mind, deliberately 
desire the suppression of this document, in which Mr. 
Coleridge, for the good of others, generously forgets its 
bearing on himself, and m>akes a full and voluntary confes- 
sion of the sins he had committed against " himself, his 
friends, his children, and his God ?" In the agony of 
remorse, at the retrospection, he thus required that this his 
confession should hereafter be given to the public. "After 

MY DEATH, I EARNESTLY ENTREAT, THAT A FULL AND UN- 
aUALIFIED NARRATIVE OF MY WRETCHEDNESS, AND ITS GUILTY 
CAUSE, MAY BE MADE PUBLIC, THAT AT LEAST SOME LITTLE 
GOOD MAY BE EFFECTED BY THE DIREFUL EXAMPLE." This 

is the most redeeming letter Samuel Taylor Coleridge ever 



INTRODUCTION. 



penned. A callous heart could not have written it. A 
Christian, awaking ti'om his temporary hethargy, might. 
While it powerfully propitiates the reader, it ahnost con- 
\tfrts condemnation into compassion. 

No considerate friend, it might be thought, would have 
desired the suppression of this letter, but rather its most 
extended circulation ; and that, among other cogent rea- 
sons, from the immense moral lesson, enforced by it, in 
perpetuity, on all consumers of opium ; in which they will 
behold, as well as in some of the other letters, the - tre- 
mendous consequences" (to use Mr. Coleridge's own ex- 
pressions) of such practices exemplitied in his own person; 
and to which terrible etiects, he himself so often, and so 
impressively refers. It was doubtless a deep conviction 
of the beneficial tendencies involved in the publication, that 
prompted Mr. C. to direct publicity to be given to this 
remarkable letter, after his decease. 

The incidents connected with the lives of Mr. Coleridge 
and Mr. Southey. are so intimately blended, from relation- 
ship, association, and kindred pursuits, that the biography 
of one, to a considerable extent, involves that of \he other. 
The following narrative, however, professes to be annals 
of, rather than a circumstantial account of these two re- 
markable nen. 

Some persons may be predisposed to misconstrue the 
motive for giving publicity to the following letter : but 
others, it is hoped, will admit that the sole object has been, 
not to draw the reader's attention to the writer, but to con- 
fer credit on Southey, Many are the individuals who 
would have assisted, to a greater extent than myself, two 
young men of decided genius, like Samuel Taylor Cole- 
ridge, and Robert Southey, who required, at the com- 



INTRODUCTION. 



mencement of their literary career, encouragement, and a 
little assistance. Few however, would have exhibited the 
magnanimity which Southey displayed, in seasons of im- 
proved circumstances, by referring to slender acts of kind- 
ness, long past, and scarcely remembered but by himself 
Few are the men, who, after having surmounted their 
difficulties by honorable exertion, would have referred to 
past seasons of perplexity, and have desired — that occur- 
ences " might be seen hereafter," which little minds would 
sedulously have concealed, as discredit, rather than as con- 
ferring conspicuous honor. 

Ten years after the incidents had occurred to which the 
following letter refers, in writing to Mr. Southey, among 
other subjects, I casually expressed a regret, that when I 
quitted the business of a bookseller, I had not returned him 
the copy-rights of his " Joan of Arc ;" of his two volumes 
of Poems ; and of his letters from Spain and Portugal. 
The following was his reply. 

" Wednesday evening, Greta Hall, April 28, 1808. 
My dear Cottle, 

* * * what you say of my copy-rights affects me very much. Dear 
Cottle, set. your heart at rest on that subject. It ought to be at rest. They 
were yours ; fairly bought and fairly sold. You bought them on the chance 
of their success, what no London bookseller would have done ; and had they 
not been bought, they could not have been pubhshed at all. Nay, if you had 
not published ' Joan of Arc,' the poem never would have existed, nor should 
I, in all probability, ever have obtained that reputation which is the capital on 
which I subsist, nor that power which enables me to support it. 

But this is not all. Do you suppose, Cottle, that I have forgotten those true 
and most essential acts of friendship which you showed me when I stood most 
in need of them ? Your house was my house when I had no other. The 
very money with which I bought my wedding ring, and paid my marriage 
fees, was suppUed by you. It was with your sisters that I left my Edith, dur- 
ing my six months' absence ; and for the six months after my return, it was 



INTRODUCTION. 



from you that I received, week by week, the little on which we lived, till I waa 
enabled to live by other means. It is not the settling of our cash account that 
can cancel obligations lilce these. You are in the habit of preserving your let- 
ters, and if you were not, / wauld entreat you i^o preserve this, that it might be 
seen hereafter. Sure I am, that there never was a more generous, nor a kinder 
heart than yours, and you will believe me when I add, that there does not live 
that man upon earth, whom I remember with more gratitude, and more affec- 
tion. My heart throbs, and my eyes burn with these recollections. Good 
night, my dear old friend and benefactor. 

Robert Southey." 

Gratitude is a plant indigenous to Heaven. Specimens 
are rarely found on Earth. This is one. 

Mr. Southey, on previous occasions, had advised me to 
write my " Recollections of Persons and Things," and it 
having been understood that I v^as about to prepare a 
memoir of Mr. Coleridge, (1836,) Mr. S. renew^ed his solici- 
tation, as will appear by the following extracts. 

•^ Keswick, April 14, 1836. 
My dear Cottle, 

There is, I hope, time enough for you to make a very interesting book of 
your own ' Recollections,' a book which will be of no little value to the history 
of our native city, and the hterature of our times. Your prose has a natural 
ease which no study could acquire. I am very confident you could make as 
delightful a book on this subject as Isaac Walton has in his way. If you are 
drawing up your ' Recollections of Coleridge,' you are most welcome to insert 
anything of mine which you may think proper. To be employed in such a 
work, with the principles and frame of mind wherewith you would engage in 
it, is to be instructing and admonishing your fellow-creatures ; it is employing 
your talents, and keeping up that habitual preparation for the enduring in- 
heritance in which the greater part of your Ufe has been spent. Men like us, 
who write in sincerity, and with the desire of teaching others so to think, and 
to feel, as may be best for themselves and the community, are laboring as much 
in their vocation as if they were composing sermons, or'delivering them from 
the pulpit. * * * 

God bless you, my dear old friend. Always yours most affectionately, 

Robert Southey. 



INTRODUCTION. 



On another occasion Mr. S. thus wrote. 

" My dear Cottle, 

I both wish and advise you to draw up your ' Reminiscences.'' I advise 
you for your own sake, as a valuable memorial, and wish it for my own, that 
that part of my life might be faithfully reported by the person who knows it 
best. * * * You have enough to tell which is harmless, as well as inter- 
esting, and not harmless only, but instructive, and that ought to be told, and 
which only you can tellP 

It may be proper to notice that the title here adopted, of 
"Reminiscences," is to be understood as a general, rather 
than as a strictly applicable phrase, since the present mis- 
cellaneous work is founded on letters and various memo- 
randa, that for the most part, have lain in a dormant state 
for many years, and which were preserved as mementos 
of past scenes personally interesting, but without, in the 
first instance, the least reference to ultimate publication. 

I cannot withhold a final remark, with which my own 
mind is greatly affected ; from revolving on a most unex- 
pected, as it is a singular fact, — that these brief memorials 
of Mr. Coleridge, and Mr. Southey, should be written by 
the same individual who, more than half a century before, 
contributed his humble efforts to assist, and encourage 
them, in their first entrance on a literary life. The whole 
of the events thus recorded, appear through the dim vista 
of memory, already with the scenes before the flood ! while 
all the busy, the aspiring, and the intellectual spirits here 
noticed, and once so well known, have been hurried oflf 
our mortal stage ! — Robert Lovell ! — George Burnet ! — 
Charles Lloyd ! — George Catcott ! — Dr. Beddoes ! — Charles 
Danvers ! — Amos Cottle ! — William Gilbert ! — John Mor- 
gan ! — Ann Yearsley ! — Sir H. Davy ! — Hannah More ! — 



INTRODUCTION. 



Robert Hall ! — Samuel Taylor Coleridge ! — Charles Lamb ! 
— Thomas Poole ! — Josiah Wade ! — Robert Southey ! — 
and John Foster ! — confirming with fresh emphasis, 

" What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!" 

J.C. 
Bristol, April 20, 1847 



CONTENTS 



PAGK 

Fantisocracy and Robert Lovcll . . . . . ^ . . 2 

Mr. Southey and Mr. Burnet arrive m Bristol 4 

Mr. Ooleridge arrives in Bristol ........ 4 

Fears for the Pantisocritans dissipated 8 

A London bookseller offers Mr. Coleridge six guineas for the copy-right 

of his Poems ...... ..... 9 

]\lr. Coleridge and Mr. Southey each sells his 1st volume of Poems for 

thirty guineas 9 

Mr. Southey sells his Joan of Arc for fifty guineas .... 10 

Mr. Coleridge begins his lectures in Bristol ...... 10 

Specimen of ?>Ir. C.'s lecture . . . . . . . .11 

Liberty's letter to Famine ......... 12 

Mr. C.'s political lectures, &c. 13 

Death of Robert Lovell 15 

Mr. Southey's course of historical lectures 18 

Mr. Coleridge disappoints his audience ...... 19 

Excursion to Tin tern Abbey 20 

Dissension between Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Southey .... 21 

Incidents connected with Mr. Coleridge's volume of Poems . . 26 

Mr. Coleridge married to Miss Sarah Fricker 29 

Household articles required ......... 30 

Notices of WilUam Gilbert, Ann Yearsley, H. More, and Robert Hall . 31 

Mr. Coleridge removes, first to Bristol and then to Stowey ... 48 

" again to Bristol ....... 50 

Mr. Coleridge's woful letter 51 

Poems, now published 52 

projects his " Watchman" •. . . . . .56 

seven letters, while on his journey to collect subscribers 

to the " Watchman" 63 

inaugural sermon at Bath ...... 70 

Mr. Lloyd domesticates with Mr. Coleridge 74 

Mr. Coleridge's melancholy letter 76 

views of Epic Poetry 77 

Q,uarrel between Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Southey reconciled . . 79 



CONTENTS. 



Mt. Coleridge's letter to Miss Cruickshanks 

diagram of the second bottle 

theological letter 

prepares lor a second edition of his Poems 

letter to George Calcott 

on hexameters, &c. 

Foster-mother's tale (extract) 

ludicrous interview with a country 

Poem relating to Burns 

character of Mr. Wordsworth 

Herbert Croft and Chatterton (Note) . 

Coleridge's character of Thelwall . 

Letters from Clmrles Lamb .... 

Mr. Coleridge's lines to Joseph Cottle 

.Sara's lines to the same .... 

Three Sonnets, by Nehemiah Higginbotham 

Coleridge, Lloyd, and Lamb, quarrel 

Lamb's sarcastic Theses to Mr. Coleridge 

Coleridge goes to Shrewsbury on probation . 

Mr. Coleridge receives an annuity of £150 from the Messrs. Thomas and 

Josiah Wedgewood ..... 
Letters from Mr. Wordsworth — Lyrical Ballads 
IVIr. Wordsworth caballed against . 
Disasters attending a dinner with Mr. Wordsworth 
Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Wordsworth depart for Germany 
Mr. Coleridge's character of Mr. Southey 
Mr. Southey marries Miss Edith Fricker 
Three letters of Mr. Southey from Falmouth and Portugal 
Sundry letters from Mr. Southey to Joseph Cottle 
George Dyer and a ludicrous incident .... 
Mr. Southey' s rhyming letter from Lisbon 
3Ir. Churchey, and incidents concerning him 
Mr. Southey in danger from an enraged author 

Mr. Southey and Wat Tyler 

Mr. Foster explains how W'at Tyler came to be published 

J. Morgan's ruined circumstances — Mr, S.'s proposal for a subscript] 

List of Mr. Southey' s contributions to the Quarterly 

Discovery of first edition of Pilgrim's Progress 

Mr. Coleridge's letter on travelling in Germany 

Slow sale at first of Mr. Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads 

Mr. Humphrey Davy arrives in Bristol 

Dr. Beddoe and the Pneumatic Institution 

Mr. Davy's dangerous experiments with the gases 

Mr. Coleridge's and Mr. Davy's anecdotes 

Mr. Coleridge relates his mihtary adventures 

Mr. Toleridge's Epigrams from the German 



CONTENTS. iv 



PAGE 

Character of Coleridge by Professor Wilson, Mr. Sargeant Talfourd, 
Dr. Dibdin, Mr. Justice Coleridge, Rev. Archdeacon Hare, Quarterly 
Review, Rev. C. V. Le Grice . . . ; . . . .217 

Mr. Coleridge's letter to Mr. Cottle on his return from Malta, 1807 . 227 

Rev. J. Foster's letter concerning Coleridge .'.,... 228 

Mr. Coleridge's singular escape from Italy • 230 

letter on the Trinity 233 

views of Unitarianism 241 

character of Sir H. Davy 244 

Sir H. Davy's rebuke of an Infidel ....... 244 

Mr. Coleridge's character of Holcroft, the Atheist .... 244 

Rev. J. Foster's letter respecting his Essay on Doddridge . . . 247 

Mr. Coleridge's letter to Mr. G. Fricker . . . . . . 250 

Mr. Quincey presents Mr. Coleridge with £300 255 

Mr. Coleridge's letter on Narrative Poems 255 

Reasons why Mr. Coleridge's opium habits should not be concealed . 258 

Mr. Coleridge ill in Bath 260 

Mr. Coleridge engages to lecture in Bristol, 1814 — Disappoints his au- 
dience, by an excursion into North Wales ... . . 261 
Mr, Coleridge's lines foi" a transparency at the capture of Bonaparte . 264 

Mr. Coleridge's approval of Infant Schools 266 

Mr. Cottle's letter of remonstrance respecting opium .... 268 

Mr. Coleridge's distressing letters in reply 272 

Mr. Coleridge wishes to be placed in an asylum ..... 275 

Mr. Southey's letters respecting Mr. Coleridge ..... 276 

Mr. Coleridge's contrivance to cheat the doctor 284 

Mr. Coleridge leaves Bristol for Calne ....... 285 

Letters of Mr. Southey respecting Mr. Coleridge 286 

Letter of Mr Coleridge from Calne ....... 286 

Mr. Coleridge's letter, requiring the truth to be told of his opium habits, 

after his death 292 

Mr. Coleridge's letter to his godson, Kinnaird ..... 294 
Letters from Mr. Southey concerning Mr. Allsop, and the scheme of 

Pantisocracy and Mr. Coleridge 298 

Letters from Mr. Southey concerning " Early Recollections" . . . 304 

Letter from Mr. Southey — his Western journey 307 

Letter from Mr. Southey — Melancholy foreboding .... 308 

Mr. Southey's mental malady . . . . ■ . . . . 308 

Letter from Mr. Foster relating to Mr. Southey ..... 309 
Mr. Cottle's letter to Mr. Foster, respecting Mr. Southey . . .310 
Sixteen letters from Mr. Coleridge to Thomas and Josiah Wedgewood, 

Esqrs. 315 

List of works promised by Mr. Coleridge, but not written . . . 347 

Mr. Coleridge sound in health, in 1800 350 

his health undermined by opium, soon after . . . 350 

Dr. Carlyon, relating to Mr. Coleridge (Note) 351 



CONTENTS. 



PACK 

Extracts from Mr. Poole's letters respecting Mr. Coleridge . . . 351 

Dr. Adams's letter to Mr. Gillman, respecting Mr. Coleridge . . . 354 

Mr. Coleridge domesticates with Mr. Gillman 355 

Letter of Mr. Foster respecting Mr. Coleridge 356 

Prayer of Mr. Coleridge, 1831 357 

Mr. Coleridge's Epitaph on himself 359 

Mr. Coleridge's monument 359 

APPENDIX. 

Character of John Henderson 361 

Controversy of Rowley and Chatterton 368 

The Weary Pilgrim, a Poem 374 



REMINISCENCES. 



Ten years ago I published '' Recollections of S. T. Coleridge.'* 
This work I have revised, and embodied in the present " Remi- 
niscences of S. T. Coleridge, and Robert Southey." My views 
and motives have been explained in the Introduction. 

If some readers should consider that there are occasional docu- 
ments introduced into the following work, too unimportant and 
derogatory to legitimate biography, I would observe, that it was 
desicrned that nothinor should be admitted which was not charac- 

o o 

teristic of the individual ; and that which illustrates character in a 
man of genius, cannot well be esteemed trifling and deserving o^ 
rejection. — In preparing these Reminiscences, some effort has be^i 
required. I have endeavored to forget the intervening space of 
forty or fifty years, and, as far as it was practicable, to enter on 
the scenes and circumstances described with all the feelings coin- 
cident with that distant period. My primary design has been to 
elucidate the incidents referring to the early lives of the late Mr. 
Coleridge and Mr. Southey ; yet I purposed, in addition, to intro- 
duce brief notices of some other remarkable characters, known in 
Bristol at this time. 

To account for my introduction to all the persons subsequently 
noticed, it is necessary to apprise the reader that I was a booksel- 
ler in Bristol from the year 1791 to 1*798; from the age of 21 to 
28 ; and having imbibed from my tutor and friend, the late John 
Henderson, (one of the most extraordinary of men,) some little 
taste for literature, I foimd myself, during that period, generally 

1 



REMINISCENCES OF 



Burrounded by men of cultivated minds/-^ With these prelimi- 
nary remarks I shall commence the narrative. 

At the close of the year 1794, a clever young man, of the So- 
ciety of Friends, of the name of Robert Lovell, vvho had miarried 
a Miss Fricker, informed me that a few friends of his from Oxford 
and Cambridge, with himself, were about to sail to America, and, 
on the banks of the Susquehannah, to form a Social Colony, in 
which there was to be a community of property, and where all 
that was selfish was to be proscribed. None, he said, vrere to be 
admitted into their number, but tried and incorruptible characters ; 
and he felt quite assured that he and his friends would be able to 
realize a state of society free from the evils and turmoils that then 
agitated the world, and to present an example of the eminence to 
which men might arrive under the unrestrained influence of sound 
principles. He now paid me the compliment of saying that he 
would be happy to include 7ne in this select assemblage who, un- 
der a state which he called Pantisocracy, v\^ere, he hoped, to re- 
generate the whole complexion of society ; and that, not by es- 
tablishing formal laws, but by excluding all the little deteriorating 
passions ; injustice, '' wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking," 
and thereby setting an example of " Human Perfectibility." 
nYoung as I was, I suspected there was an old and intractable 
leaven in hum.an nature that would effectually frustrate these airy 
schemes of happiness, vrhich had been projected in every age, and 
always with the same result. At first the disclosure so confounded 
my understanding, that I almost fancied myself transported to 
some new state of things, while images of patriarchal and pristine 
felicity stood thick around, decked in the rainbov/'s colors. A 
moment's reflection, however, dissolved the unsubstantial vision, 
when I asked him a few plain questions. 

" How do you go ?" said I. My young and ardent friend in- 
stantly replied, " We freight a ship, carrying out with us ploughs, 
and other implements of husbandry." The thought occurred to 
me, that it might be more economical to purchase such articles in 

* The reader will bear in mind that the present work consists of Autobiog- 
raphy, and therefore, however repugnant to the writer's feelings, the apparent 
egotism has been unavoidable. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 



America ; but not too jv-ucli to disco uiage the enthusiastic aspirant 
after happiness, I forbore all reference to the accumulation of dif- 
ficulties to be surmounted, and merely inquired who were to com- 
pose his compan}^ ? He said that only four had as yet absolutely 
engaged in the enterprise ; Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from Cam- 
bridge ; (in whom I understood the plan to have originated ;) 
liobert Southey and George Burnet, from Oxford, and himself. 
" Well," I replied, " when do you set sail ?" He answered, " Very 
shortly. I soon expect my friends from the Universities, w^hen all 
the preliminaries will be adjusted, and we shall joyfully cross the 
blue waves of the Atlantic." '•' But," said I, ''to freight a ship, 
and sail out in the high style of gentlemen agriculturists, will re- 
quire funds. How do you manage this ?" " We all contribute 
what we can," said he, '' and I shall introduce all my dear friends 
to you, immediately on tlieir arrival in Bristol." 

Robert Lovell (though inexperienced, and constitutionally san- 
guine) was a good specimen of tlie open frankness which charac- 
terizes the well-informed members of the Society of Friends ; and 
he excited in me an additional interest, from a warmth of feeling, 
and an extent of reading, above even the ordinary standard of the 
estimable class to which he belonged. He now read me some of 
the MS. poems of his two unknown friends, which at once estab- 
lished their genius in my estimation."^ 

* Robert Lovell, himself was a poet, as will appear by the following being 
one of his Sonnets. 

STONEHENGE. 

Was it a spirit on yon shapeless pile 1 

It wore, methought, a holy Druid's form, 

Musing on ancient days ! The dying storm 
Moan'd in his lifted locks. Thou, night ! the while 
Dost listen to his sad harp's wild complaint, 

Mother of shadows ! as to thee he pours 

The broken strain, and plaintively deplores 
The fall of Druid fame ! Hark ! murmurs faint 
Breathe on the wavy air ! and now more loud 

Swells the deep dirge ; accustomed to complain 
Of holy rites unpaid, and of the crowd 

Whose ceaseless steps the sacred haunts profane. 
O'er the wild plain the hurrying tempest flies. 
And, mid the storm unheard, the song of sorrow dies. 



REMINISCENCES OF 



My leisure ha\T[ng been devoted for many years to reading and 
composition, and having a small volume of Poems at that time in 
the press, I anticipated great pleasure from an introduction to two 
poets, who superadded to talents of a high order, all the advan- 
tages arising from learning, and a consequent fiimiliarity with the 
best models of antiquity. Independently of which, they excited 
an interest, and awakened a peculiar solicitude, from their being 
about so soon to leave their father-land, and to depart permanently 
for a foreign shore. 

One morning shortly after, Robert Lovell called on me, and in- 
troduced Robert Southey. Never will the impression be effaced, 
produced on me by this young man. Tall, dignified, possessing 
great suavity of manners ; an eye piercing, with a countenance 
full of genius, kindliness, and intelligence, I gave him at once the 
right hand of fellowship, and to the moment of his decease, that 
cordiality was never withdrawn. I had read so much of poetry 
and sympathized so much with poets in all their eccentricities and 
vicissitudes, that, to see before me the realization of a character, 
which in the abstract most absorbed my regards, gave me a de- 
gree of satisfaction which it would be difficult to express. 

I must now make a brief reference to George Burnet, who, in 
this epidemic delusion, had given his sanction to, and embarked 
all his prospects in life on this Pantisocratical scheme. He was a 
young man about the age of twenty ; the son of a respectable 
Somersetshire farmer, who had bestowed on him his portion, by 
giving him an University education as an introduction to the 
Church, into which he probably would have entered but for this 
his transatlantic pursuit of happiness. His talents were not con- 
spicuous, but his manners were unpresuming, and honesty was 
depicted on his countenance. He possessed also that habitual 
good temper, and those accommodating manners, which would 
prove a desirable accession in any society ; and it soon appeared, 
without indicating any disrespect, that his was a subordinate part 
to act in the new drama, and not the less valuable for its wanting 
splendor. 

After some considerable delay, it was at length announced that 
on the coming morning Samuel Taylor Coleridge would arrive in 
Bristol, as the nearest and most convenient port ; and where he 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 



was to reside but a short time before the favoring gales were to 
waft him and his friends across the Atlantic. Robert Lovell at 
length introduced Mr. C. I instantly descried his intellectual 
character ; exhibiting as he did, an eye, a brow, and a forehead, 
indicative of * commanding genius. Interviews succeeded, and 
these increased the impression of respect. Each of my new 
friends read me his productions. Each accepted my invitations, 
and gave me those repeated proofs of good opinion, ripening fast 
into esteem, that I could not be insensible to the kindness of their 
manners, Avhich, it may truly be affirmed, infused into my heart a 
brotherly feeling, that more than identified their interests with 
my own. 

I mtroduced them to several intelligent friends, and their own 
merits soon augmented the number, so that their acquaintance be- 
came progressively extended, and their society coveted. Bristol 
was now found a very pleasant residence ; and though the ship 
was not engaged, nor the least preparation made for so long a 
voyage, still the delights and wide -spreading advantages of Pan- 
tisocracy formed one of their everlasting themes of conversation ; 
and, considering the barrenness of the subject, it was in no com- 
mon degree amusing, to hear these young enthusiasts repel every 
objection to tlie practicability of their scheme, and magnify the 
condition to which it was to introduce them ; where thorns and 
briers were, no doubt, to be expelled, and their couch to be 
strewed with down and roses. 

It will excite merely an innocent smile in the reader at the ex- 
travagance of a youthful and ardent mind, when he learns that 
Robert Lovell stated with great seriousness, that, after the minut- 
est calculation and inquiry among practical men, the demand on 
their labor would not exceed tAvo hours a day ; that is, for the 
production of absolute necessaries. The leisure still remaining, 
might be devoted, in convenient fractions, to the extension of their 
domain, by prostrating the sturdy trees of the forest, where " lop 
and top," without cost, would supply their cheerful winter fire ; 
and the trunks, when cut into planks, without any other expense 
than their own pleasant labor, v/ould form the sties for their pigs, 
and the linnies for their cattle, and the barns for their produce ; 
reserving their choicest timbers for their own comfortable log- 



REMINISCENCES OF 



dwellings. But after every claim that might be made on their 
manual labor had been discharged, a large portion of time would 
still remain for their own individual pursuits, so that they might 
read, converse, and even write books. 

Cowper, in an unpublished letter now before me, says, " I know 
well that publication is necessary to give an edge to the poetic 
turn, and that what we produce in the closet, is never a vigorous 
birth, if we intend that it should die there. For my own part I 
could no more amuse myself with writing verse, if I did not print 
it when written, than with the study of tactics, for which I can 
never have any real occasion." But our young and ardent friends 
seemed to entertain a strong impression that the mere pleasure 
of writing, that is, like virtue, writing for its own sake, was all the 
mental and rational gratification wise men could desire. Views 
and times alter, and these richly-endowed young men, in after 
life, were prompt, and amongst the first to confess the fallacious 
schemes of their youth ; but at this time the pleasurable alone 
occupied their field of vision, and confidence never stood more 
unencumbered with doubt. 

If any difficulties were now started, and many such there were, 
a profusion of words demonstrated the reasonableness of the 
whole design, impressing all who heard, with the conviction that 
the citadel was too strong for assault. The Mercury at these 
times was generally Mr. Coleridge, who, as has been stated, in- 
geniously parried every adverse argument, and after silencing his 
hardy disputants, announced to them that he y.'as about to write 
and publish a quarto volume in favor of Pantisocracy, in which a 
variety of arguments vould be advanced in defence of his system, 
too subtile and recondite to comport with conversation. It would 
then, he said, become manifest that he was not a projector raw 
from his cloister, but a cool calculating reasoner, whose efforts 
and example would secure to him and his friends the permanent 
gratitude of mankind. 

From the sentiments thus entertained, I shall represent Mr. 
Coleridge, in the section of his days which devolves on me to ex- 
hibit, just as he was, and that with a firm belief that by so doing, 
without injuring his legitimate reputation, I shall confer an essen- 
tial benefit on those to come, who Avill behold in Mr. C. much to 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHE F. 



admire and imitate ; and certainly some things to regret. For it 
should be remembered, Mr. Coleridge, from universal admission, 
possessed some of the highest mental endowments, and many per- 
taining to the heart ; but if a man's life be valuable, not for the 
incense it consumes, but for the instruction it affords, to state even 
defects, (in one like Mr. C. who can so well afford deduction with- 
out serious loss,) becomes in his biographer, not optional, but a 
serious obligation. 

It is proper additionally to remark, that some apology or pro- 
pitiation may be necessary tovfard those who regard every ap- 
proximation to poverty, not as a misfortune, but a crime. Pecu- 
niary difficulties, especially such as occur in early life, and ilot 
ascribabie to bad conduct, reflect no discredit on men of genius. 
Many of them, subsequently, surmounted their first embarrass- 
ments by meritorious exertion ; and some of our first men (like 
travellers, after having successfully passed through regions of pri- 
vation and peril) delight even to recall their former discourage- 
ments, and, without the shame that luxuria.tes alone in little 
minds, undisguisedly to tell of seasons, indelible in tlieir memo- 
ries, when, in the prostration of hope, the wide world appeared 
one desolate waste ! but they ultimately found, that these sea- 
sons of darkness, (however tenaciously retained by memory,) in 
better times often administer a new and refreshing zest to present 
enjoyment. Despair, therefore ill becomes one who has follies to 
bewail, and a God to trust in. Johnson and Goldsmith, with nu- 
merous others, at some seasons vrere plunged deep in the w^aters 
of adversity, but halcyon days awaited them : and even those 
sons of merit and misfortune whose pecuniary troubles were more 
permanent, in the dimness of retrospection, only stand out invested 
in softer hues. 

Cervantes is not the less read, because the acclam^ations of 
praise were heard by him in his abode of penury. Butler, Ot- 
vfay, Collins, Chatterton, Burns, and men like them, instead of 
suffering in public estimation from the difficulties they encoun- 
tered, absolutely challenge hi every generous mind an excess of 
interest from the very circumstances that darkened the complex- 
ion of their earthly prospects. 

In corroboration of this remark, in our own day, the son of 



REMINISCENCES OF 



Crabbe, who must have cherislied the deepest solicitude for his 
father's reputation, has laid bare to general inspection his parent's 
early perplexities, by which impartial disclosures we behold the 
individual in his deepest depressions ; worth enriched by trial, 
and greatness, by a refining process, struggling successfully with 
adversity. Does the example of such a man nobly bearing up 
against the pressures that surrounded him inflict obduracy on our 
hearts? On the contrary, while w^e feelingly sympathize with 
the poet, and deplore the tardy hand of deliverance, Ave pause 
only to transfer a reflex portion of praise to him whose magnani- 
mous conduct has furnished so ample a scope for the tenderest 
emotions of our nature. This reflection w^ill induce me not to 
withhold from false delicacy, occurrences, the disclosure of which 
none but the inconsiderate will condemn ; and by which all the 
features of Mr. Coleridge's character will be exhibited to the in- 
spection of the inquisitive and philosophical mind. 

I proceed, therefore, to state that the solicitude I felt, lest these 
young and ardent geniuses should in a disastrous hour, and in 
their mistaken apprehensions, commit themselves in this their des- 
perate undertaking, was happily dissipated by Mr. Coleridge ap- 
plying for the loan of a little cash, — to pay the voyager's freight ? 
or passage ? !No, — lodgings. They all lodged, at this time, at 
No. 48, College-Street. JS'ever did I lend money with such un- 
mingled pleasure; for now I ceased to be haunted day and 
night with the spectre of the ship ! the ship ! which w^as to effect 
such incalculable mischief ! The form of the request was the 
following : 

My dear Sir, 
Can you conveniently lend me ^ve pounds, as we want a lit- 
tle more than four pounds to make up our lodging bill, which is 
indeed much higher than we expected ; seven weeks, and Bm'net's 
lodging for twelve weeks, amounting to eleven pounds. 

Yours, affectionately, S. T. COLERIDGE. 

Till this time, not knowing what the resources of my young 
friends were, I could not wholly divest myself of fear ; but now 
an eff'ectual barrier manifestly interposed to save them from de- 
struction. And though their romantic plan might linger in their 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 



minds, it was impossible not to be assured that their strong good 
sense would eventually dissipate their delusions. 

Finding now that there was a deficiency in that material, 
deemed of the first consequence in all civilized states, and re- 
membering Burgh's feeling lamentation over the improvidence, or 
rather the indifference with which man}^ men of genius regard the 
low thoughts that are merely of a pecuniary nature, I began to 
revolve on the means by which the two poets might advantage- 
ously apply their talents. 

Soon after, finding Mr. Coleridge in rather a desponding mood, 
I urged him to keep up his spirits, and recommended him to pub- 
lish a volume of his poems. " Oh," he replied, " that is a use- 
less expedient." He continued : '' I offered a volume of my 
poems to different booksellers in London, who would not even look 
at them ! The reply being, ' Sir, the article will not do.' At 
length, one, more accommodating than the rest, condescended to 
receive my MS. poems, and, after a deliberate inspection, offered 
me for the copy-right, six guineas, which sum, poor as I was, I 
refused to accept." ''Well," said I, ''to encourage you, I will 
give you twenty guineas." It was very pleasant to observe the 
joy that instantly diffused itself over his countenance. " Nay," I 
continued, " others publish for themselves, I will chiefly remember 
you. Instead of giving you twenty guineas, I will extend it to 
thirty, and without waiting for the completion of the work, to 
make you easy you may have the money as your occasions re- 
quire." The silence and the grasped hand, showed that at that 
moment one person was happy. 

Every incident connected with the lives of literary men, espe- 
cially at the commencement of their career, always excites interest. 
I have been, therefore, the more particular in detailing this cir- 
cumstance, (except for its connection, of no consequence,) and 
proceed further to state, that now, meeting Mr. Southey, I said 
to him, " I have engaged to give Mr. Coleridge thirty guineas for 
a volume of his poems ; you have poems equal to a volume, and 
if you approve of it, I will give you the same." He cordially 
thanked me, and instantly acceded to my proposal. 

I then said to him, " you have read me several books of your 
* Joan of Arc,' which Poem I perceive has great merit. If it meet 

1* 



10 REMINISCENCES OF 



with your concurrence, I will give you fifty guineas for this work, 
and publish it in quarto, when I will give you, in addition, fifty 
copies to dispose of amongst your friends." Without a moment's 
hesitation, to this proposal also he acceded. 

I could say much of Mr. Southey at this time ; of his consti- 
tutional cheerfulness ; of the polish of his manners ; of his digni- 
fied, and at the same time, of his unassuming deportment ; as well 
as of the general respect which his talents, conduct, and conver- 
sation excited.* But before reference be made to more serious 
publications, some notice will be taken of other objects of pursuit. 

Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Southey, now determined by their best 
^fibrts, in other ways than those detailed, to raise money for their 
projected expedition. They resolved therefore, to give the citizens 
of Bristol individual lectures, or series of lectures, on different 
subjects. Mr. Coleridge chose Political and Moral subjects ;f Mr. 
Southey chose History. On examining my old papers, I find 
most of the notices or prospectuses relating to these subjects. 

Mr. Coleridge's first two lectures were delivered in the Corn 
Market in Wine-Street. 

Mr. Colerido*e's next two lectures were deliv^ered the latter end 

o 

of February, 1795, and afterwards were thrown into a small 
pamphlet, printed under the title of " Condones ad Populum, or 
Addresses to the People." After this he consolidated two other 
of his lectures, and published them under the title of " Th« Plot 
Discovered." Two detached lectures were given at the Corn 
Market, and one at a room in Castle Green. All these lectures 
were anti-Pitt-ite. 



* I had an opportunity of introducing Mr, Southey, at this time, to the eldest 
Mrs. More, who invited him down to spend some whole day with her sister 
Hannah, at their then residence, Cowshp Green. On this occasion, as re- 
quested, I accompanied him. The day was full of converse. On my meeting 
one of the ladies soon after, I was gratified to learn that Mr. S. equally 
pleased all five of the sisters. She said he was " brim full of literature, and 
one of the most elegant and intellectual young men they had seen." 

j" It might be intimated, that, for the estabhshment of these lectures, there 
was, in Mr. Coleridge's mind, an interior spring of action. He wanted tc 
" build up" a provision for his speedy marriage with Miss Sarah Fricker : 
and with these grand combined objects before him, no effort appeared too vast 
to be accomplished by his invigorated faculties. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. U 

The next lecture given by Mr. Coleridge was in reprobation of 
the Slave Trade. The following was the prospectus : — 

*• To-morrow evening, June 16th, 1795, S. T. Coleridge, of Jesus College, 
Cambridge, will deliver (by particular desire) a lecture on the Slave Trade, 
and the duties that result from its continuance. 

To begin at 8 o'clock in the evening, at the Assembly Coffee House, on the 
Q,uay. Admission, One shilling." 

His next lecture was (it is believed) on the Hair Powder Tax, 
in which his audience were kept in good feeling, by the happy 
union of wit, humor, and argument. Mr. C.'s lectures were 
numerously attended, and enthusiastically applauded. 

It may amuse and gratify the reader, to receive a specimen of 
a lecture,^ descriptive of Mr. C.'s composition and reasoning, de- 
livered at this time, and by which it will appear that his politics 
were not of that inflammable description which would set a world 
in flames. 

* * * " But of the propriety and utility of holding up the distant mark 
of attainable perfection, we shall enter more fully tow^ard the close of this 
address. We turn with pleasure to the contemplation of that small but 
glorious band, whom we may truly distinguish by the name of thinking and 
disinterested patriots.f These are the men who have encouraged the sympa- 
thetic passions till they have become irresistible habits, and made their duty a 
necessary part of their self-interest, by the long-continued cultivation of that 
moral taste, wliich derives our most exquisite pleasures from the contemplation 
of possible perfection. 

Accustomed to regard all the affairs of man as a process, they never hurry, 
and they never pause. Theirs is not the twilight of political knowledge, 
which gives just Hght enough to place one foot before the other : as they ad- 
vance, the scene still opens upon them, and they press right onward, with a 
vast and varied landscape of existence around them. Calmness and energy 
mark all their actions. Benevolence is tlie silken thread that runs through 
the pearl-chain of all their virtues. The unhappy cliildren of vice and folly, 
whose tempers are adverse to their own happiness, as well as to the happiness 
of others, will at times awaken a natural pang, but he looks forward with 
gladdened heart to that glorious period when justice shall have established 
the universal fraternity of love. These soul-ennobling views bestow the vir- 
tues which they anticipate. He whose mind is habitually impressed with 

* Copied from his MS. as delivered, not from his " Conciones ad Populum" 
as printed, where it will be found in a contracted state. 

t Muir, Palmer, and Margarot. 



12 REMINISCENCES OF 



them, soars above the present state of humanity, and may be justly said to 
dwell in the presence of the Most High. Regarding every event, as he that 
ordains it, evil vanishes from before him, and he viev^rs the eternal form of 
universal beauty." 

At one of liis lectures, Mr. Coleridge amused his audience by 
reciting the following Letter from Liberty to his dear friend 
Famine ; the effect of which w^as greatly^ heightened by Mr. C.'s 
arch manner of recitation. It should be understood that there 
was at this time a great scarcity in the land. 

Dear Famine, 

You will doubtless be surprised at receiving a petitionary letter from a per- 
fect stranger, but, Fas est vcl ab hoste. All whom I once supposed my un- 
alterable friends, I have found unable or unwilling to assist me. I first ap- 
plied to Gratitude, entreating her to whisper into the ear of Majesty, that it 
was I who had placed his forefathers on the throne of Great Britain. She told 
me that she had frequently made the attempt, but had as frequently been baf- 
fled by Flattery : and, that I might not doubt the truth of her apology, she 
led me (as the Spirit did the prophet Ezekiel) " to the door of the Court, and 
I went in and saw — and behold! every form of creeping things." I was 
however somewhat consoled, when I heard that Religion was high in favor 
there, and possessed great influence. I myself had been her faithful servant, 
and always found her my best protectress : her service being indeed perfect 
freedom. Accordingly, in full confidence of success, I entered her mansion, 
but, alas ! instead of my kind mistress, horror-struck, I beheld a painted, 

patched-up old . She was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and 

decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, and on her forehead was 
written " Mystery." I shrieked, for I knew her to be the dry-nurse of that 
detested Imp, Despotism. 

I next addressed myself to Prudence, and earnestly besought her to plead 
my cause to the Ministers ; to urge the distresses of the lower orders, and my 
fears lest, so distressed, they should forget their obedience. For the prophet 
Isaiah had informed me " that it shall come to pass, that when the people 
shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves and curse the kinor," The grave 
matron heard me, and, shaking her head, learnedly replied, " Q^iios Deus vult 
perdere dementa!^ Again I besought her to speak to the rich men of the 
nation, concerning Ministers, of whom it might soon become illegal even to 
complain — of long and ruinous wars, and whether theij must not bear the 
damage. All this, quoth Prudence, I have repeatedly urged, but a sly im- 
postor named Expedience has usurped my name, and struck such a panic 
of property, as hath steeled the hearts of the wealthy, and palsied their intel- 
lects. Lastly I applied to Conscience. She informed me that she was in- 
deed a perfect ventriloquist, and could throw her voice into any place she 
liked, but that she was seldom attended to unless when she spoke out of the 
pocket. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 13 

Thus baffled and friendless, I was about to depart, and stood a fearful 
lingerer on the isle which I had so dearly loved — when tidings were brought 
me of your approach. I found myself impelled by a power superior to me to 
build my last hopes on you. Liberty, the Mothe?. of Plentv, calls Famine 
to her aid. O Famine, most eloquent Goddess ! plead thou my cause. I in 
the meantime, will pray fervently that Heaven may unstop the ears of her 
Vicegerent, so that ihey may Usten to your first pleadings, while yet your 
voice is faint and distant, and your counsels peaceable. 

" I remain your distressed suppliant, 

LIBERTY. 

The following is the prospectus, of Mr. Coleridge's series of 
Political lectures. ^ 

S. T. Coleridge proposes to give, in Six Lectures, a comparative view of 
the English Rebellion under Charles the First, and the French Revolution. 

The subjects of the proposed Lectures are, 
First. The distinguished marks of the French and English character, with 

their probable causes. The national circumstances precursive to — 1st, the 

English Rebellion. — 2d, the French Revolution. 
Second. The Liberty of the Press. Literature ; its Revolutionary powers. 

Comparison of the English, with the French Political Writers, at the time 

of the several Revolutions. Milton. Sydney. Harrington. — Brissot. 

Sieyes. Mirabeau. Thomas Paine. 
Third. The Fanaticism of the first English and French Revolutionists. 

EngUsh Sectaries. French Parties. Feuillans. Girondists. Faction of 

Hebert. Jacobins. Moderants. Royalists. 
Fourth. 1st, Characters of Charles the First, and Louis the Sixteenth. 2d, 

of Louis the Fourteenth and the present Empress of Russia. 3d, Life and 

Character of Essex and Fayette. 
Fifth. Oliver Cromwell, and Robespierre. — Cardinal Mazarine, and William 

Pitt. — Dundas, and Barrere. 
Sixth. — On Revolution in general. — Its moral causes, and probable effects on 

the Revolutionary People, and surrounding nations. 

It is intended that the Lectures should be given once a week ; on Tuesday 
Evenings, at 8 o'clock, at the Assembly Coffee House, on the Quay. The 
First Lecture, on Tuesday, June 23d, 1795. As the author wishes to insure 
an audience adequate to the expenses of the room, he has prepared subscrip- 
tion tickets for the whole course, price Six ShilUngs, which may be had at 
the Lecture Room, or of Mr. Cottle, or Mr. Reed, Booksellers. 

Mr. Coleridge's Theological lectures succeeded, of which the 
following is the prospectus. 

Six Lectures will be given by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, on Revealed Re« 
ligion, its Corruptions, and its Political Views. 



14 REMINISCENCES OF 



These Lectures are intended for two classes of men, Christians and Infidels ; 
to the former, that they be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them ; 
to the latter, tliat they may not determine against Christianity, from argu- 
ments applicable to its corruptions only. 

The subjects of the First Lkcture, are— The Origin of Evil. The 
Necessity of Revelation deduced from the Nature of man. An Examination 
and Defence of the Mosaic Dispensation. 

Second.— The Sects of Philosophy, and the Popular Superstitions of the 
Gentile World, from tlie earliest times to the Birth of Christ. 

Third. — Concerning the Time of the Appearance of Christ. The Internal 
Evidences of Christianity. The External Evidences of Christianity. 

Fourth. — The External Evidences of Christianity continued. Ansv^ers to 
Popular and Philosophical objections. • 

Fifth. — The Corruptions of Christianity, in Doctrines. Political AppU- 
cation. 

Sixth. — The grand Political Views of Christianity — far beyond other Re- 
ligions, and even Sects of Philosophy. The Friend of Civil Freedom. The 
probable state of Society and Governments, if all men were Christians. 

Tickets to be had of Mr. Cottle, Bookseller. 

Sometimes a single Lecture was given. The following is an 
Advertisement of one of them. 

To-morrow Evening, Tuesday, June 16th, 1795, S. T. Colendge will de- 
liver (by particular desire) a Lecture on the Slave Trade, and the duties that 
result from its continuance. 

To begin at 8 o'clock, at the Assembly Coffee-house, on the Gtuay. Admit- 
tance, One Shilling. 

It may be proper to state, that all three of my young friends, 
in that day of excitement, felt a detestation of the French war 
then raging, and a hearty sympathy with the efforts made in 
France to obtain political ameliorations. Almost every young and 
unprejudiced mind participated in this feeling ; and Muir, and 
Palmer, and Margorot, were regarded as martyrs in the holy 
cause of freedom. The successive enormities, however, perpe- 
trated in France and Switzerland by the French, tended to mod- 
erate their enthusiastic politics, and progressively to produce that 
effect on them which extended also to so many of the soberest 
friends of rational freedom. Mr. Coleridge's zeal on these ques- 
tions was by far the most conspicuous, as w^ill appear by some of 
his Sonnets, and particularly by his Poem of " Fire, Famine, and 
Slaughter ;" though written some considerable time after. When 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 15 

he read this Poem to me, it was with so much jocularity as to 
convince me that, without bitterness, it was designed as a mere 
joke. 

In conformity with my determination to state occurrences, 
plainly, as they arose, I must here mention that strange as it may 
appear in Pantisocritans, I observed at this time a marked cool- 
ness between Mr. Coleridge and Robert Lovell, so inauspicious 
in those about to establish a " Fraternal Colony ;" and, in the 
result, to renovate the whole face of society ! They met without 
speaking, and consequently appeared as strangers. I asked 
Mr. C. what it meant. He replied, " Lovell, who at first, did all 
in his power to promote my connection with Miss Fricker, now 
opposes our union." He continued, " I said to him, ' Lovell ! you 
are a villain !' " " Oh," I replied, " you are quite mistaken. 
Lovell is an honest fellow, and is proud in the hope of having 
you for a brother-in-law. Rely on it he only wishes you from 
prudential motives to delay your union." In a few -days I had 
the happiness of seeing them as sociable as ever. 

This is the last time poor Robert Lovell's name will be men- 
tioned in this work, as living. He went to Salisbury, caught a 
fever, and, in eagerness to reach his family, travelled when he 
ought to have lain by ; reached his home, and died ! We attended 
his funeral, and dropt a tear over his grave ! 

Mr. Coleridge, though at this time embracing every topic of 
conversation, testified a partiality for a few, which might be 
called stock subjects. Without noticing his favorite Pantisocracy, 
(which was an everlasting theme of the laudatory,) he generally 
contrived, either by direct amalgamation or digression, to notice 
in the warmest encomiastic language, Bishop Berkeley, David 
Hartley, or Mr. Bowles ; whose sonnets he delighted in reciting. 
He once told me, that he believed, by his constant recommenda- 
tion, he had sold a whole edition of some works ; particularly 
amongst the fresh-men of Cambridge, to whom, whenever he 
found access, he urged the purchase of three works, indispensable 
to all who wished to excel in sound reasoning, or a correct taste ; — 
Simpson's EucHd ; Hartley on Man ; and Bowles's Poems. 

In process of time, however, when reflection had rendered his 
mind more mature, he appeared to renounce the fanciful and brain- 



16 REMINISCENCES OF 



bewildering system of Berkeley ; whilst he sparingly extolled 
Hartley ; and was almost silent respecting Mr. Bowles. I noticed 
a marked change in his commendation of Mr. B. from the time 
he paid that man of genius a visit. Whether their canons of 
criticisms were different, or that the personal enthusiasm was not 
mutual ; or whether there was a diversity in poUtical views ; 
whatever the cause was, an altered feeling towards that gentle- 
man was manifested after his visit, not so much expressed by 
words, as by his subdued tone of applause. 

The reflux of the tide had not yet commenced, and Pantisocracy 
was still Mr. Coleridge's favorite theme of discourse, and the 
banks of the Susquehannah the only refuge for permanent repose. 
It will excite great surprise in the reader to understand, that 
Mr. C.'s cooler friends could not ascertain that he had received 
any specific infoimation respecting this notable river. *' It was a 
grand river ;" but there were many other grand and noble rivers 
in America ; (the Land of Rivers !) and the preference given to 
the Susquehannah, seemed almost to rise solely from its imposing 
name, which, if not classical, was at least poetical ; and it proba- 
bly by mere accident became the centre of all his pleasurable 
associations. Had this same river been called the Miramichi or 
the Irrawaddy, it would have been despoiled of half its charms, 
and have sunk down into a vulgar stream, the atmosphere of 
which might have suited well enough Russian boors, but which 
would have been pestiferous to men of letters. 

The strong hold which the Susquehannah had taken on Mr. 
Coleridge's imagination may be estimated by the foUo^ving lines, 
in his Monody on Chatterton. 

•' O, Chatterton ! that thou wert yet alive ; 

Sure thou would' st spread the canvas to the gale, 
And love with us the tinkling team to drive 

O'er peaceful freedom's undivided dale ; 
And we at sober eve would round thee throng, 
Hanging enraptured on thy stately song! 
And greet with smiles the young-eyed Poesy 
All deftly masked, as hoar Anticiuity. 
Alas, vain phantasies ! the fleeting brood 
Of woe self-solaced in her dreamy mood ! 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 17 

Yet I will love to follow the sweet dream, 
Where Susquehannah pours his untamed stream, 
And on some hill, whose forest-frowning side 
Waves o'er the murmurs of his calmer tide ; 
And I will build a cenotaph to thee. 
Sweet harper of time-shrouded minstrelsy! 
And there soothed sadly hy the dirgeful wind, 
Muse on the sore ills I had left behind." 

In another poem which appeared only in the first edition, a 
reference is again made to the American " undivided dell,'* as 
follows : 

TO W. J. H. 

WHILE PLAYING ON HIS FLUTE. 

Hush ! ye clamorous cares ! be mute. 

Again, dear Harmonist ! again, 
Through the hollow of thy flute, 

Breathe that passion-warbled strain : 

Till memory each form shall bring 

The loveliest of her shadowy throng ; 
And hope that soars on sky-lark wing, 

Carol wild her gladdest song ! 

O skill'd with magic spell to roll 
The thriUing tones that concentrate the soul ! 
Breathe through thy flute those tender notes again, 

While near thee sits the chaste-eyed maiden mild ; 
And bid her raise the poet's kindred strain 

In soft impassioned voice, correctly wild, 

" In freedom's undivided dell. 
Where toil and health, with mellowed love shall dwell, 
Far from folly, far from men, 
In the rude romantic glen. 
Up the cliff, and through the glade, 
Wand'ring with the dear-lov'd maid, 
I shall Hsten to the lay. 
And ponder on thee far away," 

Mr. Coleridge had written a note to his Monody on Chatterton, 
in which he caustically referred to Dean Milles. On this note 
being shown to me, I remarked that Captain Blake, whom he 
occasionally met, was the son-in-law of Dean Milles. ** What," 



18 REMINISCENCES OF 

said Z\Ir. Coicridge, •' the niaii with the great sword ?" " The 
same," I answered. " Then," said Mr. C. Avith an assumed 
gravit}', " I will suppress this note to Chatterton ; the fellow 
miglit have my liead off before I am avrare !" To be sm'e there 
was sometliing ratlier formidable in his huge dragoon's sword, 
constantly lattling by his side ! This Captain Blake was a mem- 
ber of tlie Bristol Corporation, and a pleasant man, but his sword, 
worn by a short man, appeared prodigious ! — Mr. C. said, '' The 
sight of it Avas enough to set half a dozen poets scampeiing up 
Parnassus, as though hunted by a Avild mastodon." 

In examining my old papers I found this identical note in Mr. 
Coleridge's handwriting, and which is here given to the reader ; 
suggesting that this note, like the Sonnet to Lord Stanhope, was 
written in that portion of C.'s life, when it must be confessed, he 
really was hot with the French Revolution. Thus he begins : 

By tar the best poem on the subject of Chatterton, is, " Neglected Genius, 
or Tributary Stanzas to the memory of the unfortunate Chatterton." Written 
by Rushton, a blind sailor. 

Walpole writes thus : " All the House of Forgery are relations, although it 
be but just to Chattcrton's memory to say, that his poverty never made him 
claim kindred with the more enriching branches ; yet he who could so ingen- 
iously counterfeit styles, and the writer believes, hands, might easily have been 
led to the more facile imitation of Prose Promissory Notes!" O, ye who 
honor the name of man, rejoice that this Walpole is called a Lord ! Milles, 
too, the editor of Rowley's Poems, a priest ; who (though only a Dean, in 
dulness and malignity was most episcopally eminent) foully calumniated him. 
An owl mangling a poor dead nightingale ! Most injured Bard ! 

" To him alone in this beniglited age 
Was that diviner inspiration given 
Which glows in Milton's, and in Shakspeare's page, 
The pomp and prodigality of heaven !" 

Mr. Soiithey's course of Historical Lectures, comprised the 
following subjects, as expressed in his prospectus. 

Robert Soutbey, of Ballol College, Oxibrd, proposes to read a course of 
Historical Lectures in the following order, 

1st. Introductory : on the origin and Progress of Society. 
2nd. Legislation of Solon and Lycurgus. 

3rd. State of Greece, from the Persian War to the Dissolution of the 
Achaian League. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHED. 19 

4th, Rise, Progress, and Decline of the Pvoman Empire. 

5th. Progress of Christianity. 

6th. Manners and Irruptions of the Northern Nations. Growth of the 
European States. Feudal System. 

7th. State of the Eastern Empire, to the Capture of Constantinople by the 
Turks; including the Rise and Progress of the Mahommedan Religion, and 
the Crusades. 

8th. History of Europe, to the Abdication of the Empire by Charles the 
Fifth. 

9th. History of Europe, to the Establishment of the Independence of 
Holland. 

10th. State of Europe, and more particularly of England, from the Acces- 
sion of Charles the First, to the Revolution, in 1688. 

11th. Progress of the Northern States. History of Europe to the Ameri- 
can War. 

12th. The American War. 

Tickets for the whole course, 10s. 6d. to be had of Mr. Cottle, bookseller, 
High-Street. 

These Lectures of Mr. South ey were numerously attended, and 
their (^composition was greatly admired ; exhibiting as they did a 
succinct view of the various subjects commented upon, so as to 
chain the hearers' attention. They at the same time evinced great 
self-possession in the lecturer ; a peculiar grace in the delivery ; 
with reasoning so judicious and acute, as to excite astonishment in 
the auditory that so young a man should concentrate so rich a 
fund of valuable matter in lectures, comparatively so brief, and 
which clearly authorized the anticipation of his future eminence. 
From this statement it will justly be inferred, that no public lec- 
turer could have received stronger proofs of approbation than Mr. 
S. from a polite and discriminating audience. 

Mr. Coleridge had solicited permission of Mr. Southey, to deliver 
his fourth lecture, " On the Rise, Progress, and Decline of the 
Roman Empire," as a subject to which he had devoted much at- 
tention. The request was immediately granted, and at the end of 
the third lecture it was formally announced to the audience, that 
the next lecture would be delivered by Mr. Samuel Taylor Cole- 
ridge, of Jesus College, Cambridge. 

At the usual hour the room was thronged. The moment of 
commencement arrived. I^o lecturer appeared ! Patience was 
preserved for a quarter, extending to half an hour ! — but still no 



20 REMINISCENCES OF 



lecturer ! At length it was communicated to the impatient as- 
semblage, that a circumstance, exceedingly to be regretted ! would 
prevent Mr. Coleridge from giving his lecture that evening, as in- 
tended. 8ome few present learned the truth, but the major part 
of the company retired not very well pleased, and under the im- 
pression that Mr. C. had either broken his leg, or that some severe 
family affliction had occurred. Mr. C.'s rather habitual absence 
of mind, with the little importance he generally attached to en- 
gagements,^ renders it likely that at this very time he might have 
been found at No. 48, College-Street, composedly smoking his 
pipe, and lost in profound musings on his divine Susquehannah ! 

Incidents of the most trifling nature must sometimes be nar- 
rated, when they form connecting links with events of more con- 
sequence. 

Wishing to gratify my two young friends and their ladies elect 
Avith a pleasant excursion, I invited them to accompany me in a 
visit to the Wye, including Piercefield and Tintern Abbey ; ob- 
jects new lo us all. It so happened the day we were to set off 
was that immediately following the woful disappointment ! but 
here all was punctuality. It was calculated that the proposed ob- 
jects might be accomplished in two days, so as not to interfere 
with the Friday evening's lecture, which Mr. Southey had now 
wisely determined to deliver himself. 

The morning was fine. The party of five all met in high spirits, 

* An eminent medical man in Bristol, who greatly admired Mr. Coleridge's 
conversation and genius, on one occasion, invited Mr. C. to dine with him, on 
a given day. The invitation was accepted, and this gentleman, wilhng to 
gratify his friends with an introduction to Mr. C. invited a large assemblage, 
for the express purpose of meeting him, and made a splendid entertainment, 
anticipating the deliglit which would he universally felt from Mr. C.'s far- 
famed eloquence. It unfortunately happened that Mr. Coleridge had forgot- 
ten all about it ! and the gentleman, [with his guests, after waiting till the hot 
became cold] under his mortification consoled himself by the resolve, never 
again to subject himself to a like disaster. No explanation of apology on my 
part could soothe the choler of this disciple of Galen. A dozen subscribers to 
his lectures fell off from this slip of his memory. 

" Sloth jaundiced all ! and from my graspless hand 
Drop friendship's precious pearls, like hour-glass sand. 
I weep, yet stoop not ! the faint anguish flows, 
A dreamy pang iu morning's feverish doze." 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 21 

anticipating unmingled delight in surveying objects and scenery, 
scarcely to be surpassed in the three kingdoms. We proceeded 
to the Old Passage : crossed the Severn, and arrived at the Beau- 
fort Arms, Chepstow, time enough to partake of a good dinner, 
which one of the company noticed Homer himself had pronounced 
to be no bad thing : a sentiment in which we all concurred, admir- 
ing his profound knowledge of human nature ! But prior to our 
repast, we visited the fine old Castle, so intimately connected with 
by-gone days ; and as soon as possible we purposed to set off to- 
ward the Abbey, distant about six or seven miles ; taking Pierce- 
field in our way. 

Proceeding on my principle of impartial narration, I must here 
state, that, after dinner, an unpleasant altercation occurred be- 
tween — no other than the two Pantisocritans ! When feelings are 
accumulated in the heart, the tongue will give them utterance, 
Mr. Southey, whose regular habits scarcely rendered it a virtue 
in him, never to fail in an engagement, expressed to Mr. Coleridge 
his deep feelings of regret, that his audience should have been dis- 
appointed on the preceding evening ; reminding him that unless 
he had determined punctually to fulfil his voluntary engagement 
he ought not to have entered upon it. Mr. C. thought the delay 
of the lecture of little or no consequence. This excited a remon- 
strance, which produced a reply. At first I interfered with a few 
conciliatory words, which were unavailing ; and these two friends, 
about to exhibit to the world a glorious example of the eflfects of 
concord and sound principles, with an exemption from all the self- 
ish and unsocial passions, fell, alas ! into the common lot of hu- 
manity, and in so doing must have demonstrated, even to them- 
selves, the rope of sand to which they had confided their desti- 



nies 



In unspeakable concern and surprise I retired to a distant part 
of the room, and heard with dismay the contention continued, if 
not extending ; for now the tAvo young ladies entered into the dis- 
pute, (on adverse sides, as might be supposed,) each confirming or 
repelling the arguments of the belligerents. A little cessation in 
the storm afforded me the opportunity of stepping forward and re- 
marking that, however much the disappointment was to be regret- 
ted, it was an evil not likely again to occur, (Mr. S. shook his 



22 REMir^ISCENCES OP 

head,) and that the wisest way was to forget the past and to re- 
member only the pleasant objects before us. In this opinion the 
ladies concurred, when placing a hand of one of the dissentients in 
that of the other, the hearty salutation went round, and with our 
accustomed spirits, we prepared once more for Piercefield and the 
Abbey. 

Being an indifferent walker (from a former dislocation of my 
ankle, arising out of a gig accident) I had engaged a horse, while 
the four pedestrians set forward, two on each side of my Rosi- 
nante. After quitting the extensive walks of Piercefield, we pro- 
ceeded toward that part of the road, where we were to turn off to 
the right, leading down to Tintern Abbey. We had been delayed 
so long at Chepstow, and afterward, by various enchanting scenes, 
particularly that from the Wind-cliff', that we were almost be- 
nighted, before we were aware. We recalled all our minute di- 
rections. Every object corresponded. A doubt expressed, at a 
most unlucky moment, whether we were to turn to the right, or 
to the left, threw ice into some hearts ; but at length we all con- 
curred, that it was to the right, and that this must be the road. 

These complicated deliberations allowed the night rapidly to 
advance, but the grand preliminaries being settled, we approached 
the "road," and strove to penetrate with our keenest vision into 
its dark recesses. A road ! this it could not be. It was a gross 
misnomer ! It appeared to our excited imaginations, a lane, in 
the tenth scale of consanguinity to a road ; a mere chasm between 
lofty trees, where the young moon strove in vain to dart a ray 1 
To go or not to go, that was the question ! A new consultation 
was determined upon, what proceeding should be adopted in so 
painful a dilemma. At length, with an accession of courage 
springing up as true courage always does in the moment of ex- 
tremity, we resolutely determined to brave all dangers and boldly 
to enter on the road, lane, or what it was, where perchance, Cad- 
wallader, or Taliesen, might have trodden before ! 

On immerging into the wood, for such it was, extending the 
whole downward way to Tintern, we all suddenly found ourselves 
deprived of sight ; obscurity aggravated almost into pitchy dark- 
ness ! We could see nothing distinctly whilst we floundered over 
Btones, embedded as they appeared in their everlasting sockets. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 23 

from the days of JSToah. The gurghng of the unseen stream, down 
in the adjacent gully, (which we perchance might soon be found, 
reluctantly to visit !) never sounded so discordant before. Having 
some respect for my limbs (with no bone-setter near) I dismounted, 
resolving to lead my steed, who trembled as though conscious of 
the perilous expedition on which he had entered. Mr. Coleridge 
who had been more accustomed to rough riding than myself, upon 
understanding that I through covrardice had forsaken the saddle, 
without speaking a word put his foot in the stirrup and mount- 
ing, determined to brave at all hazards, the dangers of the cam- 
paign. 

Our General on his charger floundered on before us over chan- 
nels that the storms had made, and the upstarting fragments of 
rocks that seemed confederated to present an insurmountable bar- 
rier to every rash and roving wight. AVe were in a forlorn con- 
dition ! and never before did v/e so feelingly sympathize with the 
poor babes in the wood ; trusting, in the last extremity, (should it 
occur,) a few kind robins with their sylvan pall, would honor also 
our obsequies. This kind of calming ulterior hope might do very 
well for poets, but it was not quite so consolatory to the ladies, 
who, with all their admiration of disinterested pity, wished to keep 
off the dear tender-hearted robins a little longer. 

These desponding thoughts were of short continuance, for wheth- 
er the moon had emerged from clouds, or that our sight had be- 
come strengthened by exercise, we rejoiced now in being able to 
see a little, although it might be to reveal only sights of woe. Mr. 
Southey marched on like a pillar of strength, with a lady pressing 
on each arm, while the relater lagged in the rear, without even a 
pilgrim's staff to sustain his tottering steps. Our condition might 
have been more forlorn, had not Mr. Coleridge from before cheered 
on his associates in misfortune ; and intrepidity produces intrepidity. 

The deepest sorrow often admits of some alleviation, and at 
present our source of beguilement was to invent some appropriate 
name, in designation of this most horrible channel of communica- 
tion between man and man. Various acrimonious epithets were 
propounded, but they all wanted an adequate measure of caus- 
ticity ; when Mr. Southey, censuring in us our want of charity, 
and the rash spirit that loaded with abuse objects which if beheld 



24 REMINISCENCES OF 



in noon-day might be allied even 'to the picturesque, proposed that 
our pathway, whatever it was, should simply be called — '' Bow- 
ling-green-lane." 

We should have smiled assent, but w^e had just arrived at a spot 
that overshadowed every countenance with tenfold seriousness ! 
This was no moment for gratuitous triflings. We had arrived at a 
spot, where there was just light enough to descry three roads, in 
this bosom of the wood, diverging off in different directions ! two 
of them must be collaterals ; and to fix on the one which was hon- 
est, where all had equal claims to bad pre-eminence, exceeded oiir 
divining power. Each awhile ruminated in silence ; reflecting that 
we were far from the habitations of man, with darkness only not 
intense around us ! We now shouted aloud, in the faint hope that 
some solitary w^oodman might hear, and come to our relief. The 
shrill voices of the ladies, in the stillness of night, formed the es- 
sence of harmony. All w^as silence ! No murmur ! No response ! 
The three lanes lay before us. If we pursued one, it might, by 
the next morning, conduct us safe back to Chepstow ; and if w^e 
confided in the other, it might lead us in due time, half-way to- 
ward Ragland Castle ! What w^as to be done ? One in the com- 
pany now remarked, " Of what service is it to boast a pioneer, if 
we do not avail ourselves of his services ?" Mr. Coleridge re- 
ceived the hint, and set off* up one of the lanes at his swiftest speed, 
namely, a cautious creep ; whilst we four stood musing on the wide 
extent of himaan vicissitudes ! A few hours before, surrounded 
by a plethora of enjoyments, and now desponding and starving in 
the depth of what appeared an interminable forest. To augment 
our trouble, fresh anxieties arose ! From Mr. Coleridge's long 
absence, we now almost feared whether hard necessity might not 
force us to go in search of our way-bewildered or quagmired com- 
panion. 

To our great joy, we now faintly heard, in the stillness of night, 
the horse's hoofs sliding over the loose stones ! The sound drew 
nearer. Mr. Coleridge approached and pensively said, that could 
not be the way, for it led to an old quarry which the quick sight 
of his steed discovered just in time to save both their necks ! Mr. 
C. was next ordered instantly to explore one of the other two omi- 
nous lanes ; when, like a well-disciplined orderly man, he set off 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 25 

gallantly on his new commission. After waiting a time, which in 
our state of suspense might almost be called a period, he leisurely 
returned, significantly saying, that neither man nor beast could 
pass that way ! rubbing his thorn-smitten cheek. ISTow came the 
use of the syllogism, in its simplest form. ^^If the right road 
must be A, B, or C, and A and B were wrong, then C must be 
right." Under this conviction, we marched boldly on, without 
further solicitude or exploration, and at length joyfully reached — 
Tintern Abbey ! 

On arriving at this celebrated place, to which so many travel- 
lers resort, (thanks nov/ to his Grace of Beaufort for a better road 
than ours,) the first inquiry that hunger taught us to make of a 
countryman, was for the hotel. " Hotel ! Hotel ! sir ? Oh, the 
sign of the Tobacco Pipe ! There it is over the way." Rusticity 
and comfort often go together. We entered the inn, homely as 
it was, quite certain that any transition must be paradisaical, com- 
pared with our late hopeless condition. 

After supper, I proposed to avail ourselves of the darkness, and 
to inspect the Abbey by torch-light. This being acceded to, we 
all set oflp to view the beautiful but mouldering edifice, where, by 
an artificial light, the ruins might present a new aspect, and, in 
dim grandeur, assist the laboring imagination. At the instant the 
huge doors unfolded, the horned moon appeared between the 
opening clouds, and shining through the grand window in the dis- 
tance. It was a delectable moment ; not a little augmented by 
the unexpected green sward that covered the whole of the floor, 
and the long forgotten tombs beneath ; whilst the gigantic ivies, 
in their rivalry, almost concealed the projecting and dark turrets 
and eminences, reflecting back the lustre of the torch below. In 
this season, which ought to have been consecrated to reflection 
and silence, the daws, nestling in their abodes of desolation, aroused 
from their repose by the unusual glare, sailed over our heads in 
sable multitudes that added depth to the darkness of the sky, 
while, in their hoarsest maledictions, they seemed to warn off* the 
intruders on " their ancient solitary reign." 

On returning late to the inn, I informed my companions, that 
there was at no great distance a large iron foundry, never seen to 
perfection but at night, and proposed our visiting it. Mr. Cole- 



2G REMINISCENCES OF 



ridge felt downright horror at the thought of being again moved ; 
considering that he had had quite enough exercise for one day, 
and infinitely preferring the fire of his host to the forge of the 
Cyclops. The ladies also rather shrunk from encountering a 
second night expedition ; but Mr. Southey cordially approved the 
suggestion, and v/e ushered forth, in the dreariness of midnight, 
to behold this real spectacle of sublimity ! Our ardor, indeed, was 
a little cooled when, by the glimmering of the stars, we perceived 
a dark expanse stretched by our path, — an ugly mill-pond, by the 
side of which we groped, preserving, as well as w^e could, a re- 
spectful distance, and entering into a mutual compact that if (after 
all) one should fall in, the other should do all that in him lay to 
pull him out. 

But I leave further extraneous impositions on the reader's at- 
tention, — the Wye, and other etceteras, — briefly to remark, that we 
safely returned the next day, after an excursion where the reality 
exceeded the promise : and it may be added, quite in time to ena- 
ble Mr. Southey to prepare for, and deliver his .Lecture, " on the 
Rise, Fall, and Decline of the Roman Empire." Mr. Coleridge 
was not present. 

The publication of Mr. C.'s volume of Poems having been at- 
tended w4th some rather peculiar circumstances, to detail them a 
little may amuse the reader. On my expressing to him a w^sh to 
begin the printing as early as he found it convenient, he sent me 
the following note. 

" My dear Friend, 

The printer may depend on copy on Monday morning, and if 
he can work a sheet a day, he shall have it. 

S. T. C." 

A day or two after, and before the receipt of the copy, I re- 
ceived from Mr. C. the following cheerful note. 

" Dear Cottle, 

By the thick smoke that precedes the volcanic eruptions of Etna, 
Vesuvius, and Hecla, I feel an impulse to fumigate, at [now] 25 
College- Street, one pair of stairs room ; yea, with our Oronoko, 
and if thou wilt send me by the bearer, four pipes, I will write a 
panegyrical epic poem upon thee, with as many books as there 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 27 

are letters in thy name. Moreover, if thou wilt send me " the 
copybook," I hereby bind myself, by to-morrow morning, to write 
out enough copy for a sheet and a half. 

God bless you ! 
July 31st, 1795. S. T. C." 

This promising commencement was soon interrupted by suc- 
cessive and long-continued delays. The permission I had given 
to anticipate payment was remembered and complied with, before 
the work went to the press. These delays I httle heeded, but they 
were not quite so acceptable to the printer, who grievously com- 
plained that his types, and his leads, and his forms, were locked 
up, week after week, to his great detriment. 

Being importuned by the printer, I stated these circumstances 
to Mr. Coleridge in a note, expressed in what I thought the mild- 
est possible way, but w^hich excited, it appeared, uncomfortable 
feelings in his mind, never in the least noticed to or by myself, but 
evidenced to my surprise, by the following passage in a note to 
Mr. Wade. 

" My very dear Friend, 

% -k ^ % ^ly, Cottle has ever conducted himself towards 
me with unbounded kindness, and one unkind act, no, nor twenty, 
can obliterate the grateful remembrance of it. By indolence, and 
frequent breach of promise, I had deserved a severe reproof from 
Mm, although my present brain-crazing circumstanc'es rendered 
this an improper time for it. '^ '^ ^' 

S. T. C." 

I continued to see Mr. Coleridge every day, and occasionally 
said to him, smiling, " Well, how much copy ?" '' None, to-day," 
was the general reply, '' but to-morrow you shall have some." 
To-morrow produced, if any, perhaps a dozen lines ; and, in a fa- 
vorable state of mind, so much, it might be, as half a dozen pages : 
and here I think I can correctly state, that Mr. C. had repeated to 
me at different times nearly all the poems contained in his volume, 
except the '' Religious Musings," which I understood to be wholly 
a new poem. It may amuse the reader to receive one or two 
more of Mr. C.'s little apologies. 



28 REMINISCENCES OF 



" My dear Friend, 

The printer may depend on copy by to-morrow. 

S. T. C." 

'' My dear Cottle, 

The Religious Musings are finished, and you shall have them 
on Thursday. S. T. C." 

Sometimes sickness interfered. 
" Dear Cottle, 

A devil, a very devil, has got possession of my left temple, eye, 
cheek, jaw, throat, and shoulder. I cannot see you this evening. 
I write in agony. 

Your affectionate Friend and Brother, S. T. C." 

Sometimes his other engagements were of a pressing nature. 

" Dear Cottle, 

Shall I trouble you (I being over the mouth and nose, in doing 
something of importance, at Lovell's) to send your servant into 
the market, and buy a pound of bacon, and two quarts of broad 
beans ; and when he carries it down to College St. to desire the 
maid to dress it for dinner, and tell her I shall be home by three 
o'clock. Will you come and drink tea with me, and I will endea- 
vor to get the etc. ready for you. 

Yours affectionately, S. T. C." 

Whatever "disappointments arose, plausible reasons were always 
assigned for them, but when ingenuity was fairly taxed with ex- 
cuses, worn out, Mr. C. would candidly admit, that he had very 
little '' finger industry," but then, he said, his mind was always 
on " full stretch." The Herculean labor now appeared drawing 
to a close ; as will be clear from the following letter. 

*' My dear, very dear Cottle, 

I will be with you at half past six ; if you will give me a dish 
of tea, between .that time and eleven o'clock at night, I will write 
out the whole of the notes, and the preface, as I give you leave 
to turn the lock and key upon me. 

I am engaged to dine with Michael Castle, but I will not be 
one minute past my time. If I am, I permit you to send a note 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHED. 29 

to Michael Castle, requesting him to send me home to fulfil en- 
gagements, like an honest man. S. T. C." 

Well knowing that it was Mr. Coleridge's intention to do all that 
was right, but aware at the same time that, however prompt he 
might be in resolving, he had to contend, in the fulfilment, with 
great constitutional indecision, I had long resolved to leave the 
completion of his v/ork wholly to himself, and not to urge him to a 
speed which would render that a toil, which Avas designed to be a 
pleasure. 

But we must instantly leave, alike excuses, and printer, and 
copy, to notice a subject of infinitely more importance ! 

It was now understood that Mr. Coleridge was about to be 
married. Aware of his narrow circumstances, and not doubting 
the anxieties he must necessarily feel, in the prospect of his altered 
condition, and to render his mind as easy in pecuniary affairs, as 
the extreme case would admit ; I thought it would afford a small 
relief to tell him that I vfould give him one guinea and a half, 
(after his volume was completed,) for every hundred lines he 
might present to me, whether rhyme or blank verse. This offer 
appeared of more consequence in the estimation of Mr. C, than 
it did in his who made it ; for when a common friend familiarly 
asked him '' how he was to keep the pot boiling, when married ?" 
he very promptly answered, that Mr. Cottle had made him such 
an offer, that he felt no solicitude on that subject. 

Mr. Coleridge, in prospect of his marriage, had taken a cottage 
at Clevedon, a village, happily on the banks not of the Susque- 
hannah, but the Severn. He was married to Miss Sarah Fricker, 
October the 4th, 1795, and immediately after set off for his coun- 
try abode. 

The following is a copy of the certificate : — 

" St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol. 
Married, 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, to Sarah Fricker, Oct. 4th, 1795. 

Benj. Spry, Vicar. 
Witnesses, — Martha Fricker, 
Josiah Wade." 

It happened in this case, as it often does where a duty devolves 



30 REMINISCENCES OF 

equally on two ; both neglect it. The cottage at Clevedon, it ap- 
peared, had walls, and doors, and windows, but only such furni- 
ture as became a philosopher who was too well disciphned to 
covet inordinately, non-essentials. Beside which there might 
have been more of system in this deliberate renunciation of luxury. 
For would it have been consistent in those who anticipated' a 
speedy location on the marge of one of the great American rivers, 
to intrench themselves in comforts that must so soon be exchanged 
for little more than primeval supplies and the rugged privations 
of the desert ? (For even at this time Mr. C. still fondly dw^elt 
on the joys of the Susquehannah.) 

Two days after his marriage, I received a letter from Mr. Cole- 
ridge (which now lies before me) requesting the kindness of me to 
send him down, with all dispatch, the following little articles. 

" A riddle slice ; a candle box ; two ventilators ; two glasses for the wash- 
hand stand ; one tin dust pan ; one small tin tea kettle ; one pair of candle- 
sticks ; one carpet brush ; one flower dredge ; three tin extinguishers ; two 
mats ; a pair of slippers ; a cheese toaster ; two large tin spoons ; a Bible ; a 
keg of porter ; coffee ; raisins ; currants ; catsup ; nutmegs ; allspice ; cinna- 
mon ; rice ; ginger ; and mace." 

With the aid of the grocer, and the shoemaker, and the brewer, 
and the tinman, and the glassman, and the brazier, (fee, I imme- 
diately sent him all that he had required, and more ; and the next 
day rode down to pay my respects to the new-married couple ; 
being greeted, not with the common, and therefore vulgar, mate- 
rials of cake and wine, but with that which moved the spirit, 
hearty gratulations ! 

I was rejoiced to find that the cottage possessed everything 
that heart could desire. The situation also was peculiarly eligi- 
ble. It was in the western extremity, not in the centre of the vil- 
lage. It had the benefit of being but one story high, and as the 
rent was only five pounds per ann., and no taxes, Mr. Coleridge 
had the satisfaction of knowing, that by fairly " mounting his Pe- 
gasus,'* he could write as many verses in aw^eek as would pay his 
rent for a year. There was also a small garden, with several 
pretty flowers ; and the '' tallest rose-tree" was not failed to be 
pointed out, w^hich " peeped at the chamber window," (and which 
lias been honored with some beautiful lines.) I observed, how- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 31 

ever, that the parlor, from my perverted taste, looked rather 
awkward, in being only whitewashed, and the same effected in 
rather the " olden time ;" to remedy which fanciful inconvenience, 
on my return to Bristol, I sent an upholsterer^ down to this re- 
tired and happy abode with a few pieces of sprightly paper, to 
tarnish the half immaculate sitting-room walls. 

Mr. Coleridge being now comfortably settled at Clevedon, I 
shall there for the present leave him to v/rite verses on his be- 
loved Sarah, while in the meantime, I introduce the reader to an 
ingenious young barrister, whom I had known some years pre- 
viously under the following peculiar circumstances. 

William Gilbert, author of the "Hurricane," was the son of the 
eminent philanthropist, Nathaniel Gilbert, of Antigua, who is 
usually noticed as " The excellent Gilbert who first set an exam- 
ple to the planters, of giving religious instruction to the slaves." 
In the year 1787, a want of self-control having become painfully 
evident, he was j^aced by his friends in the Asylum of Mr. Rich- 
ard Henderson, at rlanham, near Bristol, when I first knev/ him. 
He occasionally accompanied John Henderson into Bristol, on one 
of which occasions he introduced him to my brother and myself, 

* This honest upholsterer (a Mr. W. a good Uttle weak man) attended the 
preaching of the late eloquent R.obert Hall. At one time an odd fancy en- 
tered his mind, such as would have occurred to none other; namely, that he 
possessed ministerial gifts ; and with this notion uppermost in his head, he 
was sorely perplexed, to determine whether he ought not to forsake tlie shop, 
and ascend the pulpit. 

In this uncertainty, he thought his discreetcst plan would be to consult his 
minister; in conformity with which, one morning he called on Mr. Hall, and 
thus began : '• I call on you this morning, Sir, on a very important business!" 
" Well, Sir." " Why, you must know. Sir — I can hardly tell how to begin." 
" Let me hear. Sir." " Well, Sir, if I must tell you, for these two months past 
I have had a strong persuasion on my mind, that I possess ministerial tal- 
ents." — Mr, Hall (whose ideas were high of ministerial requisites) saw his 
delusion, and determined at once to check it. The upholsterer continued: 
*' Though a paper-hanger by trade, yet, Sir, I am now satisfied that I am 
called to give up my business, and attend to something better ; for you know. 
Mr. Hall, I should not bury my talents in a napkin." " O Sir," said Mr. H. 
" you need not use a napkin, a pocket-handkerchief will do." 

This timely rebuke kept the good man to his paper-hangings for the remain- 
der of his days, for whenever he thought of the ministry, this same image of 
the pocket-handkerchief always damped his courage. 



32 REMINISCENCES OF 



as the " Young Counsellor !" I spent an afternoon with them, not 
readily to be forgotten. Many and great talkers have I known, 
but William Gilbert, at tliis time, exceeded them all. His brain 
seemed to be in a state of boiling efiervescence, and his tongue, 
with inconceivable rapidity, passed from subject to subject, but 
Avith an incoherence that was to me, at least, marvellous. For 
two hours he poured forth a verbal torrent, which was only sus- 
pended by sheer physical exhaustion. 

John Henderson must have perceived a thousand fallacies in 
his impassioned harangue ; but he allowed them all to pass un- 
commented upon, for he knew there was no fighting with a vapor. 
He continued in the Asylum about a year, when his mind being 
partially restored, his friends removed him, and he wholly ab- 
sented himself from Bristol, till the year 1 796, when he re-appeared 
in that city. 

Being so interesting a character, I felt pleasure in introducing 
him to Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Southey, with '^vhom he readily 
coalesced, and they, I believe, truly respected him, soon however 
perceiving there was " something unsound in Denmark ;" but 
;stiil tJiere was so much general and obvious talent about him, and 
his manners were so conciliating, that they liked his company, 
and tolerated some few peculiarities for the sake of the much that 
was good. The deference he paid Mr. C. and Mr. S. was some 
evidence that reason had partly reassumed her seat in his mind, 
for when before them, he withheld many of his most extravagant 
notions, and maintained such a comparative restraint on his 
tongue, as evidently arose from the respect with which he was 
impressed. 

At one time he very gravely told me, that to his certain 
knowledge there was in the centre of Africa, bordering on Abys- 
sinia, a little to the south-east, an extensive nation of the Gibberti, 
or Gilberti, and that one day or other he intended to visit them, 
and claim kindred.'^' 

* Gilbert's derangement was owing to the loss of a naval cause at Ports- 
mouth, in which he was concerned as an advocate. Among other instances, 
one time when at his lodgings, he interpreted those words of Christ personally, 
" Sell all that thou hast and distribute to the poor," when, without the for- 
mality of selling, he thought the precept might be more summarily fulfilled. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 33 

One morning, information was brought to us that W. Gilbert, 
at- an early hour, had departed precipitately from Bristol, without 
speaking to any one of his friends. We felt great concern at this 
unexpected movement, and by comparing recent conversations, 

and therefore, one morning he tumbled everything he had in his room, through 
the window, into the street, that the poor might help themselves ; bed, bolsters, 
blankets, sheets, chairs, &c., &c., but unfortunately, it required at that season a 
higher exercise of the clear reasoning process than he possessed, to distinguish 
accurately between his own goods and chattels and those of his landlady ! 

He had all the volubility of a practised advocate, and seemed to delight in 
nothing so much as discussion, whether on the unconfirmed parallactic angle 
of Sirius, or the comparative weight of two straws. Amid the circle in which 
he occasionally found himself, ample scope was often given him for the exer- 
cise of this faculty. I once invited him, for the first time, to meet the late 
Robert Hail I had calculated on some interesting discourse, aware that each 
was pecuharly susceptible of being aroused by opposition. The anticipations 
entertained on this occasion were abundantly realized. Their conversation, 
for some time, was mild and pleasant, each, for each, receiving an instinctive 
feeling of respect ; but the subject happened to be started, of the contra-dis- 
tinguishing merits of Hannah Moore and Ann Yearsley. By an easy tran- 
sition, this led to the quarrel that some time before had taken place between 
these two remarkable females ; the one occupying the summiit, and the other 
moving in about the lowest grade of human society ; but in genius, compeers. 
They at once took opposite sides. One argument elicited another, till at length 
each put forth his utmost strength, and such felicitous torrents of eloquence 
could rarely have been surpassed ; where on each side ardor was repelled 
with fervency, and yet without the introduction of the least indecorous ex- 
pression. 

Gilbert was an astrologer; and at the time of ci person's birth, he would 
with undoubting confidence predict all the leading events of his future life, 
and sometimes (if he knew anything of his personal history) even venture to 
declare the past. The caution with which he usually touched the second 
subject formed a striking contrast with the positive declarations concerning 
the first. 

I was acquainted at this time with a medical man of enlarged mind and 
considerable scientific attainments ; and accidentally mentioning to him that 
a friend of mine was a great advocate for this sublime science, he remarked, 
" I should Uke to see him, and one half hour would be sufficient to despoil 
him of his weapons, and lay him prostrate in the dust." — I said, " if you will 
sup with me I will introduce you to the astrologer, and if you can beat this 
nonsense out of his head, you will benefit him and all his friends." When 
the evening arrived, it appeared fair to apprise WilHam Gilbert that I was 
going to introduce him to a doctor, who had kindly and gratuitously under- 
taken to cure him of all his astrological maladies. " Will he ?' said Gilbert. 
" The malady is on his side. Perhaps I may cure him." 



34 REMINISCENCES OF 



we thought it highly probable that, in obedience to some astro- 
logical monition, he had determined, forthwith, to set off on a visit 
to his relatives in Africa. So convinced was Mr. Southey that 
this long-cherished design had influenced poor Gilbert in his 
sudden withdrawment, that he wrote to Mr. Roscoe, at Liverpool, 
beggmg him to interfere, to prevent any African captain from 
taking such a person as Mr. S. described. Mr. Roscoe appeared 
to have taken much trouble ; but after a vigilant inquiry, he re- 
plied, by saying that no such person had sailed from, or appeared 
in Liverpool. So that we remained in total uncertainty as to 
what was become of him ; many years afterwards it appeared he 
had gone to Charleston, United States, where he died. 

Mr. Southey thus refers to W. Gilbert in his " Life of Wesley.'* 

" In the year 1796, Mr. G. published the ' Hurricane, a Theosophical and 
Western Eclogue,' and shortly afterwards placarded the walls of London 
with the largest bills that had at that time been seen, announcing ' the Law 
of Fire.' I knew him well, and look back with a melancholy pleasure to the 
hours which I have passed in his society, when his mind was in ruins. His 
madness was of the most incomprehensible kind, as may be seen in the notes 
to his ' Hurricane ;' but the Poem possesses passages of exquisite beauty. I 
have among my papers some memorials of this interesting man. They who 
remember him (as some of my readers will) will not be displeased at seeing 
him thus mentioned, with the respect and regret which are due to a noble 
mind." 

Mr. Wordsworth, also, at the end of his " Excui'sion," has 

Each having a specific business before him, there was no hesitation or 
skirmishing, but at first sight they both, like tried veterans, in good earnest 
addressed themselves to war. On one side, there was a manifestation of 
sound sense and cogent argument ; on the other, a familiarity with all those 
arguments, combined with great subtlety in evading them ; and this sustained 
by new and ingenious sophisms. My medical friend, for some time, stood 
his ground manfully, till, at length, he began to quail, apparently from the 
verbal torrent with which he was so unexpectedly assailed. Encountered 
thus by so fearful and consummate a disputant, whose eyes flashed fire in 
unison with his oracular tones and impassioned language, the doctor's quiver 
unaccountably became exhausted, and his spirit subdued. He seemed to look 
around for some mantle in which to hide the mortification of defeat ; and the 
more so from his previous confidence Never was a more triumphant victory, 
as it would superficially appear, achieved by ingenious volubility in a bad 
cause, over arguments, sound, but inefliiciently wielded in a cause that was 
good. A fresh instance of the man of sense vanquished by the man of words. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 35 

quoted the following note to the " Hurricane," with the remark 
that it " is one of the finest passages of modern English prose." 

'' A man is supposed to improve by going out into the world, by visiting 
London. Artificial man does, he extends with his sphere ; but, alas ! that 
sphere is microscopic ; it is formed of minutiae, and he surrenders his genuine 
vision to the artist, in order to embrace it in his ken. His bodily senses grow 
acute, even to barren and inhuman pruriency ; while his mental become pro- 
portionably obtuse. The reverse is the man of mind. He who is placed in 
the sphere of nature and of God, might be a mock at Tattersall's and Brooks's, 
and a sneer at St. James's : he would certainly be swallowed alive by the first 
Pizarro that crossed him ; but when he walks along the river of Amazons ; 
when he rests his eye on the unrivalled Andes ; when he measures the long 
and watered Savannah, or contemplates from a sudden promontory, the dis- 
tant, vast Pacific, and feels himself in this vast theatre, and commanding 
each ready produced fruit of this wilderness, and each progeny of this stream 
— his exaltation is not less than imperial. He is as gentle too as he is great : 
his emotions of tenderness keep pace vv^ith his elevation of sentiment ; for he 
says, '' These were made by a good Being, who, unsought by me, placed me 
here to enjoy them.' He becomes at once a child and a king. His mind is 
in himself; from hence he argues and from hence he acts, and he argues un- 
erringly, and acts magisterially. His mind in himself is also in his God ; and 
therefore he loves, and therefore he soars." 

As these pages are designed, by brief incidental notices, to fur- 
nish a view of the Literature of Bristol during a particular portion 
of time ; and having introduced the name of Ann Yearsley, I here, 
in reference to her, subjoin a few additional remarks. 

I WAS well acquainted with Ann Yearsley, and my friendship 
for Hannah More did not blind my eyes to the merits of her oppo- 
nent. Candor exacts the acknowledgment that the Bristol Milk- 
woman was a very extraordinar}^ individual. Her natural abilities 
•were eminent, united with w^hich, she possessed an unusually 
sound masculine understanding ; and altogether evinced, even in 
her countenance, the unequivocal marks of genius. If her educa- 
tion and early advantages had been favorable, there is no limit- 
ing the distinction to which she might have attained ; and the re- 
spect she did acquire, proves what formidable barriers may be 
surmounted by native talent when perseveringly exerted, even in 
the absence of those preliminary assistances which are often 
merely the fret- work, the entablature of the Corinthian column. 



36 REMINISCENCES OF 

Ann Yearsley's genius was discoverable in her Poems, but per- 
haps the extent of her capacity chiefly appeared in her Novel, 
" The Man in the Iron Mask ;" in itself a bad subject, from the 
confined limit it gives to the imagination ; but there is a vigor in 
her style which scarcely appeared compatible with a wholly im- 
educated Avoman. The late Mr. G. Robinson, the bookseller, told 
me that he had given Ann Years] ey two hundred pounds for the 
above work, and that he would give her one hundred pounds for 
every volume she might produce. This sum, Avith the profits of 
her Poems, enabled her to set up a circulating library, at the Hot 
Wells. I remember, in the year 1793, an imposition was at- 
tempted to be practised upon her, and she became also involved 
in temporary pecuniary difficulties, when by timely interference 
and a little assistance I had the happiness of placing her once 
more in a state of comfort. From a grateful feeling she after- 
wards sent me a handsome copy of verses. 

It has been too customary to charge her Avitli ingratitude, (at 
which all are ready to take fire,) but without sufficient cause, as the 
slight serv^ices I rendered her were repaid with a superabundant 
expression of thankfulness ; what then must have been the feel- 
ings of her heart towards Mrs. Hannah More, to whom her obli- 
gations were so surpassing ? 

The merits of the question involved in the dissension between 
Ann Yearsley and Mrs. H. More, lay in a small compass, and they 
deserve to be faithfully stated ; the public are interested in the 
refutation of charges of ingratitude, which, if substantiated, would 
tend to repress assistance toward the humbler children of genius. 
The baneful effects arising from a charge of ingratitude, in Ann 
Yearsley towards her benefactress, might be the proximate means 
of dooming to penury and death some unborn Chatterton, or of 
eclipsing the sun of a future Burns. 

Hannah More discovered that the w^oman who supplied her 
family daily with milk, was a really respectable poetess. She col- 
lected her productions, and published them for her benefit, with a 
reconamendatory address. The Poems, as they deserved, became 
popular ; doubtless, in a great degree, through the generous and 
uifluential support of Mrs. H. More, and the profits of the sale 
amounted to some hundreds of pounds. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 37 

The money, thus obtained, the milk woman wished to receive 
herself : for the promotion of herself in life, and the assistance of 
her two promising sons, who inherited much of their mother's tal- 
ent. Hannah More on the contrary, in conjunction with Mrs. 
Montague, thought it most ad\'isable to place the money in the 
Funds, in the joint names of herself and Mrs. M. as trustees for 
Ann Yearsley, so that she might receive a small permanent sup- 
port through life. In this, Hannah More acted with the purest 
intention. If any judicious friend had stated to her that Ann 
Yearsley, whom she had so greatly served, was a discreet woman 
and would not be likely to squander her little all ; that she av anted 
to educate her two sons, and to open for herself a circulating 
library, neither of which objects could be accomplished without 
trenching on her capital, no doubt could have been entertained of 
her instantly acceding to it. 

The great error on the part of the miikwoman, was in not pre- 
vailing on some friend thus to interfere, and calmly to state her 
case ; instead of which, in a disastrous moment, she undertook to 
plead her own cause ; and, without the slightest intention of giv- 
ing offence, called on her patroness. Both parties meant well, but 
from the constitution of the human mind, it was hardl}^ possible 
for one who had greatly obliged another in a subordinate station 
to experience the least opposition without at least an uncomforta- 
ble feeling. There must have existed a predisposition to miscon- 
strue motives, as well as a susceptibility, in the closest alliance 
with offence. And now the experiment commenced. 

Here was a strong-minded illiterate woman on one side, im- 
pressed with a conviction of the justice of her cause ; and further 
stimulated by a deep consciousness of the importance of success to 
herself and family ; and on the other side, a refined mind, deli- 
cately alive to the least approximation to indecorum, and, not un- 
reasonably, requiring deference and conciliation. Could such in- 
congruous materials coalesce ? Ann Yearsley's suit, no doubt, was 
urged with a zeal approaching to impetuosity, and not expressed 
in that measured language which propriety might have dictated ; 
and any deficiency in which could not fail to offend her polished 
and powerful patroness. 

Ann Yearsley obtained her object, but she lost her friend. 



38 REMINISCENCES OF 

Her name, from that moment, was branded with ingratitude ; and 
severe indeed was the penalty entailed on her by this act of in- 
discretion ! Her good name, with the rapidity of the eagle's 
pinion, w^as forfeited ! Her talents, in a large circle, at once 
became questionable, or vanished away. Her assumed criminality 
also was magnified into audacity, in daring to question the honor, 
or oppose the wishes of two such women as Mrs. H. More, and 
Mrs. Montague ! and thus, through this disastrous turn of afifairs, 
a dark veil was suddenly thrown over prospects, so late the most 
unsullied and exliilaratinof ; and the favorite of fortmie sunk to 



rise no more 



Gloom and perplexities in quick succession oppressed the Bristol 
milkwoman, and her fall became more rapid than her ascent ! 
The eldest of her sons, William Cromartie Yearsley, w^ho had 
bidden fair to be the prop of her age, and whom she had ap- 
prenticed to an eminent engraver, wdth a premium of one hundred 
guineas, prematurely died ; and his surviving brother soon fol- 
lowed him to the grave ! Ann Yearsley, now a childless and 
desolate widow, retired, heart-broken from the world, on the pro- 
duce of her library ; and died many years after, in a state of 
almost total seclusion, at Melksham. An inhabitant of the town 
lately informed me that she was never seen, except when she took 
her solitary walk in the dusk of the evening ! She lies buried in 
Clifton churchyard. 

In this passing notice of the Bristol milkwoman, my design 
has been to rescue her name from unmerited obloquy, and not in 
the remotest degi'ee to criminate Hannah More, whose views and 
impressions in this affair may have been somewhat erroneous, but 
whose intentions it would be impossible for one moment to 
question."* 

* I would here subjoin, that when money, in future, may thus be collected 
for ingenious individuals, it might be the wisest procedure to transfer the full 
amount, at once, to the bencficary, (unless under very peculiar circumstances.) 
This is felt to be both handsome and generous, and the obhgation is perma- 
nently impressed on the mind. If the money then be improvidently dissipated, 
he who acts thus ungratefully to his benefactors, and cruelly to himself, re- 
flects on his own folly alone. But when active and benevolent agents, who have 
raised subscriptions, will entail trouble on themselves, and with a feeling al- 
most paternal, charge them-selves with a disinterested solicitude for future gen- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 39 

The reader will not be displeased with some further remarks 
on Mrs. Hannah More, whose long residence near Bristol identified 
her so much with that city. 

Mrs. H. More lived with her four sisters, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, 
and Martha, after they quitted their school in Park-street, Bristol, 
at a small neat cottage in Somersetshire, called Cowslip Green. 
The Misses M. some years afterward built a better house, and 
called it Barley Wood, on the side of a hill, about a mile from 
Wrington. Here they all lived, in the highest degree respected 
and beloved ; their house the seat of piety, cheerfulness, literature, 
and hospitality ; and they themselves receiving the honor of more 
visits from bishops, nobles, and persons of distinction, than, 
perhaps, any private family in the kingdom. 

My sisters having been educated by them, and myself having 
two intimate friends, who were also the friends of the Misses 
More ; the Rev. James Newton,^ and my old tutor, John Hender- 

erations, without a strong effort of the reasoning power, the favor is reduced 
to a fraction. Dissatisfaction almost necessarily ensues, and the accusation 
of ingratitude is seldom far behind. 

* The Rev. James Newton was Classical Tutor at the Bristol Baptist 
Academy, in conjunction with the late Dr. Caleb Evans, and, for a short 
season, the late Robert Hall. He was my most revered and honored friend, 
who lived for twenty years an inmate in my father's family, and to whom I 
am indebted in various ways, beyond my ability to express. His learning was 
his least recommendation. His taste for elegant literature ; his fine natural 
understanding, his sincerity, and conciliating manners justified the eulogimn 
expressed by Dr. Evans in preaching his Funeral Sermon, 1789, when he 
said, (to a weeping congregation.) that " He never made an enemy, nor lost 
a friend." 

Mr. Newton was on intimate terms with the late Dean Tucker, and the 
Rev. Sir James Stonehouse, the latter of whom introduced him to Hannah 
More, who contracted for him, as his worth and talents became more and 
more manifest, a sincere and abiding friendship. Mr. Newton had the honor 
of teaching Hannah More Latin. The time of his instructing her did not 
exceed ten months. She devoted to this one subject the whole of her time, 
and all the energies of her mind. Mr. Newton spoke of her to me as exem- 
plifying how much might be attained in a short time by talent and determina- 
tion combined ; and he said, for the limited period of his instruction, she sur- 
passed in her progress all others whom he had ever known. H. More was in 
the habit of submitting her MSS. to Mr. N.'s judicious remarks, and by this 
means, from living in the same house with him, I preceded the public in in- 
specting some of her productions; particularly her MS. Poem on the " Slave 



40 REMINISCENCES OF 



son, they introduced me to. the family in Park-street, and the ac- 
quaintance then commenced was progressively ripened into respect 
that continued to the termination of all their lives. Hannah 
More gave me unrestricted permission to bring down to Barley 
Wood, any literary or other friend of mine, at any time ; and of 
which privilege, on various occasions, I availed myself. 

Many years before, I had taken down, then by express invita- 
tion, Mr. Southey, to see these excellent ladies ; and in the year 
1814, I conducted Mr. Coleridge to Barley Wood, and had the 
pleasure of introducing him to Hannah More and her sisters. For 
two hours after our arrival, Mr. C. displayed a good deal of his 
brilliant conversation, when he was listened to with surprise and 
delight by the whole circle ; but at this time, unluckily, Lady — 
was announced, when Mrs. Hannah, from politeness, devoted her- 
self to her titled visitant, while the little folks retired to a snug 
window with one or two of the Misses More, and there had their 
own ascreeable converse. 

Hannah More's eminently useful life manifested itself in 
nothing more than the effort she made to instruct the ignorant 
through the medium of moral and religious tracts, and by the 
establishment of schools. These w^ere made blessings on a wide 
scale, whilst their good effects are continued to this time, and are 
likely to be perpetuated. 

It is here proper to mention, that after superintending these 
various schools, either personally or by proxy, for more than a 
quarter of a century, and after the decease of her four benevolent 
and excellent sisters, Hannah More found it necessary to leave 
Barley Wood, and to remove to Clifton. Here her expenses were 
reduced one half, and her comforts greatly increased. The house 
she occupied, No. 4 Windsor Terrace, Clifton, was even more 
pleasant than the one she had left, and the prospects from it 
much more enlivening. I remember to have called on her with 

Trade," and her " Bas Bleu." When a boy, many an evening do I recollect 
to have listened in wonderment to colloquisms and disputations carried on in 
Latin between Mr. Newton and John Henderson. It gives me pleasure to 
have borne this brief testimony of respect toward one on whom memory so of- 
ten and so fondly reposes! Best of men, and kindest of friends, "farewell till 
we do meet again!" — (Bowles.) 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 41 

the late Robert Hall, when slie discovered a cheerfulness which 
showed that Barley Wood was no longer regretted. She brought 
us to the windows of her spacious drawing room, and there, in the 
expanse beneath, invited us to behold the new docks, and the 
merchants' numerous ships, while the hill of Dundry appeared 
(at the distance of four miles) far loftier th.an her own Mendip, 
and equally verdant. From the windovr of her back room also, 
directly imder her eye, a far more exquisite prospect presented 
itself than any Barley Wood could boast ; Leigh Woods, St. Yin- 
cent's Rocks, Clifton Down, and, to crown the whole, the windino- 
. Avon, Avith the continually shifting commerce of Bristol ; and we 
left her with the impression that tlie change in her abode was a 
great accession to her happiness. 

In a letter to Mr. Wilberforce, Hannah More thus rather pleas- 
antly writes : — 

'•'4, Windsor Terrace, Oct. 29, 1828. 
« My very dear Friend, 

* * * I am diminishing my w^orldjy cares. I have sold Barley 
Wood. I have exchanged the eight " pampered minions," for 
four sober servants. As I have sold my carriage and horses, I 
want no coachman : as I have no garden, I want no gardener. I 
have greatly lessened my house expenses, which enables me to 
maintain my schools, and enlarge my charities. My schools alone, 
with clothing, rents, &c., cost me £150 a year." 

Mrs. H. More w^as sometimes liberally assisted in the support 
of these schools (as I learned from Miss Martha More) by three 
philanthropic individuals, the late Mr. Henry Thornton, the late 
Mr. Wilberforce, and the late Sir W. W. Pepys, Bart. 

Mrs. H. More, in a letter to Sir W. W. Pepys, acknowledging 
the receipt of one hundred pounds, says, " My most affectionate 
respects to Lady Pepys. The young race, of course, have all for- 
gotten me ; but I have not forgotten the energy with which your 
eldest son, at seven years old, ran into the drawino: room, and said 
to me, ^ After all, Ferdinand v/ould never have sent Columbus to 
find out America if it had not been for Isabella : it Avas entirely 
her doing.' " How gratifying it Vv'ould have been to H. More, 



42 REMINISCENCES OF 

had slic lived two or three years longer, to have found in ,the 
round of human things, that this energetic boy of seven years, 
had become (1837) the Lord High Chancellor of England! and 
now again in 1846. 

All the paintings, drav\-ings, and prints which covered the walls 
of the parlor, on Hannah More's quitting Barley Wood, she gave 
to her friend. Sir T. D. Ackland, Bart., with the exception of the 
portrait, by Palmer, of John Henderson, which she kindly pre- 
sented to myself. 

As I purposed, in projecting the present work, to allow my- 
self a certain latitude in commenting on persons of talent con- 
nected recently with Bristol, and v\'ith whom Mr. C. and Mr. S. 
were acquainted, and especially when those persons are dead, I 
shall here in addition briefly refer to the late Robert Hall. 

Mr. Hall is universally admitted to have possessed a mind of 
the first order. He united qualities, rarely combined, each of 
Avhich would have constituted greatness ; being a writer of pre- 
eminent excellence, and a sacred orator that exceeded all compe- 
tition. 

Posterity will judge of Robert Hall's capacity by his writings 
alone, but all who knew him as a preacher, unhesitatingly admit 
that in his pulpit exercises (when the absorption of his mind in 
his subject rendered him but half sensible to the agony of inter- 
nal maladies which scarcely knew cessation, and which would 
have prostrated a spirit less firm) that in these exercises, the su- 
periority of his intellect became more undeniably manifest than 
even in his deliberate compositions. Here some might approach, 
who could not surpass ; but, as a preacher, he stood, collected, in 
solitary grandeur. 

Let the reader, Avho was never privileged to see or hear this ex- 
traordinary man, present to his imagination a dignified figure^ 
that secured the deference which was never exacted ; a capacious 
forehead ; an eye, in the absence of excitement, dark, yet placid, 
but when warmed with argument, flashing almost coruscations of 

* From his natural unassumed dignity, Mr. Foster used to call Mr. Hall 
" Jupiter r 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 43 

light, as the harmonious accompaniments of his powerful lan- 
guage. 

But the pulpit presented a wider field for the display of this 
constitutional ardor. Here, the eye, that always awed, progi^s- 
sively advanced in expression ; till w^armed with his immortal 
subject it kindled into absolute radiance, that with its piercing- 
beams penetrated the very heart, and so absorbed the spirit that 
the preacher himself was forgotten in the magnificent and almost 
overpowering array of impassioned thoughts and images. With 
this exterior, let the reader associate a voice, though not strong, 
eminently flexible and harmonious ; a mind that felt, and there- 
fore never erred in its emphasis ; alternately touching the chord 
of pathos, or advancing with equal ease into the region of argu- 
ment or passion ; and then let him remember that every sentiment 
he uttered was clothed in expressions as mellifluous as perhaps 
ever fell from the tongue of man. 

Few would dispute the testimony of Dugald Stewart on sub- 
jects of composition ; and still fewer would (pestion his author- 
ity in ascribing, as he does, to Robert Hall, the excellencies of 
Addison, Johnson, and Burke, without their defects ; and to the 
works of Mr. H. reference will hereafter doubtless be made, as 
exhibiting some of the finest specimens that can be adduced, of 
the harmony, the elegance, the energy, and compass of the Eng- 
lish tongue. 

After noticinof the excellencies of Mr. Hall as a Christian advo- 
cate, it appears almost bordering on the anti-climax, to name, 
that a great accession to this his distinction as a writer arose 
from his exquisite taste in composition, sedulously cultivated 
through life ; and v.diich (as the reward of so chastened a judg- 
ment, attained with such labor) at length superseded toil in the 
arrangement of his words, since every thought, as it arose in his 
mind, when expression was given to it, appeared spontaneously, 
clothed in the most appropriate language. 

Often has Mr. H. expatiated to me on the subject of style, so 
as to manifest the depth and acuteness of his criticisms ; as well 
as to leave a firm conviction that the superiority he had acquired 
arose from no lax endeavor and happy casualty, but from severe 
and permanent effort, founded on the best models ; at least, in 



44 REMINISCENCES OF 

■ _. _: —^ , 

that period of his Hfe when the structure of his mind was formed, 
or forming. He said that Cicero liad been his chief model. 

This habit of minute and general analysis, combined as it was 
with his line luminous intellect, enabled him with alm.ost intui- 
tive discernment, to perceive promptly whatever was valuable or 
defective in the productioiis of others ; and this faculty being 
conjoined with solid learning, extensive reading, a retentive mem- 
ory, a vast store of diversified knowledge, together with a crea- 
tive fancy and a logical mind, gave him at all times, an unobtru- 
sive reliance on himself; with an inexhaustible mental treasury 
that qualified him alike to shine in the friendly circle, or to charm, 
and astonish, and edify, in the crowded assembly. 

That the same individual should so far excel both as a preacher 
and a writer, and at the same time be equally distinguished for 
his brilliant conversational talent, is scarcely conceivable, and 
would be too much reputation for any man, unless tempered, as 
it was in Mr. Hall, by no ordinary measure of Christian humility, 
and a preference ever expressed, for the moral over the intellectual 
character. 

It is not m.eant to imply that Mr. Hall was perfect, (a condition 
reserved for another state,) but he made gigantic strides towards 
that point, at which all should aim. That such rare talents should 
have been devoted, through a long and consistent life, to the 
cause of his Redeemer, must excite thankfulness in the breast of 
every Christian, and at the same time deepen the hue with which 
he contemplates some others, whose talents and influences, were, 
and are, all banefully exercised, from what might appear a design 
to corrupt man, and madly to oppose and defy the Supreme him- 
self! 

Some of Mr. Hall's later admirers may resist the idea that there 
ever w^as a period when his ministerial exercises Avere more elo- 
quent than at the last ; but without hesitation, I adopt a different 
opinion. The estimate formed of him in this place, is chiefly 
founded on the earlier part of life, when, without any opposing 
influences, a more unbridled range was given to his imagination ; 
Avhen there was an energy in his manner, and a felicity and copi- 
ousness in his language, which vibrated on the very verge of 
human capabihty. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 45 

It is incredible to suppose that intense and almost unceasing 
pain, should not partially have unnerved his mind ; that he should 
not have directed a more undiverted concentration of thought, and 
revelled with more freedom and luxuriance of expression, before, 
rather than during the ravages of that insidious and fatal disease, 
under which he labored for so many years, and which never 
allowed him, except when in the pulpit, to deviate from a recum- 
bent posture. However combated by mental firmness, such per- 
petual suffering must have tended in some degree to repress the 
vehemence of his intellectual fire ; and the astonishment prevails, 
that he possessed fortitude enough to contend so long with antag- 
onists so potent. Except for the power of religion, and the sus- 
taining influence of faith, nothing could have restrained him from 
falling back on despondency or despair. Yet even to his final ser- 
mon, he maintained his pre-eminence ; and in no one discourse of 
his last years, did he decline into mediocrity, or fail to remind the 
elder part of his audience of a period when his eloquence was 
almost superhuman."^ 

After allowing, that many humble but sincere preachers of the 
gospel of Christ, may be as accepted of God, and be made as 
useful to their fellow-men as the most prodigally endowed, yet 
the possession of great and w^ell-directed talents must not be un- 
derrated. Different soils require different culture, and that w^hich 
is inoperative on one man may be beneficial to another, and it is 
hardly possible for any one to form a due estimate of the eleva- 
tion of which pulpit oratory is susceptible w^ho never heard Robert 
Hall. This character of his preaching refers more particularly to 
the period w^hen his talents were in their most vigorous exercise ; 
a little before the time when he published his celebrated sermon 
on "Infidelity." 

* Mr Hall broke down all distinction of sects and parties. On one of his 
visits to Bristol, when preaching at the chapel in Broadmead, a competent in- 
dividual noticed in the thronged assembly an Irish Bishop, a Dean, and thir- 
teen Clergymen. 

The late Dr. Parr was an enthusiastic admirer of Mr Hall. He said to a 
friend of the writer, after a warm eulogium on the eloquence of Mr. H : "In 
short, sir, the man is inspired." Hannah More has more than once said to 
the writer, " There was no man in the church, nor out of it, comparable in 
talents to Robert Hall." 



46 REMINISCENCES OF 

This sermon I was so happy as to hear dehvered, and have no 
hesitation in expressing an opinion that the oral was not only very 
different from the printed discourse, but greatly its superior. In 
the one case he expressed the sentiments of a mind fully charged 
\vith matter the most invigorating, and solemnly important ; but, 
discarding notes, (Avhich he once told me always "hampered 
him,") it was not in his power to display the same language, or 
to record the same evanescent trains of thought ; so that in pre- 
paring a sermon for the press, no other than a general resem- 
blance could be preserved. In tiTisting alone to his recollection, 
when the stimulus was withdrawn of a crowded and most atten- 
tive auditory, the ardent feeling, the thought that " burned," 
was liable, in some measure, to become deteriorated by the substi- 
tution of cool philosophical arrangement and accuracy for the 
spontaneous effusions of his overflowing heart ; so that what was 
gained by one course was more than lost by the other. 

During Mr. Hall's last visit to Bristol, (prior to his final settle- 
ment thete,) I conducted him to view the beautiful scenery in the 
neighborhood, and no one could be more alive to the picturesque 
than Mr. H. On former occasions, when beholding the expanse 
of water before him, he has said, with a pensive ejaculation, "We 
have no water in Cambridgeshire ;" and subsequently, in noticing 
the spreading foliage of Lord de Clifford's park, he has observed 
with the same mournful accent : " Ah, sir, we have no such trees 
as these in Leicestershire." And when at this time he arrived at 
a point which presented the grandest assemblage of beauty, he 
paused in silence to gaze on the rocks of St. Vincent, and the 
Avon, and the dense woods, and the distant Severn, and the dim 
blue mountains of Wales, when with that devotional spirit which 
accorded with the general current of his feelings, in an ecstacy he 
exclaimed : " Oh, if these outskirts of the Almighty's dominion 
can, with one glance, so oppress the heart with gladness, what 
will be the disclosures of eternity, when the full revelation shall 
"be made of the things not seen, and the river of the city of God ! " 

But " Recollections" of Mr. Hall are not intended, although it 
may be named, he stated, in one of these rides, that he had arisen 
from his bed two or three times in the course of the night, when 
projecting his " Sermon on the Death of the Princess Charlotte,'* 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 47 

to record thoughts, or to write do\Yn passages that he feared 
might otherwise escape his memory. This, at least, showed the 
intensity of the interest he felt, though a superabundance of the 
choicest matter was ever at his command ; and if one idea hap- 
pened accidentally to be lost, one that w?.s better immediately 
supplied its place. 

Perhaps this notice may be deemed, by some, too extended, if 
not misplaced ; but if the present occasion of referring to Mr. 
Hall, had been neglected, no other might have occurred. The 
man whose name is recorded on high stands in no need of human 
praise ; yet survivors have a debt to pay, and whilst I disclaim 
every undue bias on my mind in estimating the character of one 
who so ennobled liuman nature, none can feel surprise that I 
should take a favorable retrospect of Mr. H. after an intercourse 
and friendship of more than forty years. Inadequate as is the 
present offering, some satisfaction is felt at the opportunity pre- 
sented of bestowing this small tribute to the memory of one whom 
I ever venerated, and, in so doino-, of addino^ another attestation 
to the merits of so good and great a man. 

The reader, after this long; dio-ression, will have his attention 
directed once more to Mr. Coleridge, who was left at Clevedon in 
the possession of domestic comfort, and with the hope, if not the 
prospect, of uninterrupted happiness. It could hardly be sup- 
posed, that in the element of so much excitement, the spirit of 
inspiration should remain slumbering. On my next seeing Mr. C. 
he read me, with more than his accustomed enthusiasm, those 
tenderly affectionate lines to his " Sara," beginning 

" My pensive Sara, thy soft cheek reclined," &c. 

Mr. Coleridge now began to console himself with the suspicion, 
not only that felicity might be found on this side the Atlantic, but 
that Clevedon concentrated the sum of all that earth had to be- 
stow. He was now even satisfied that the Susquehannah«tself 
retired into shade before the superior attractions of his own native 
Severn. He had, in good truth, discovered the grand secret ; the 
abode of happiness, after which all are so sedulously inquiring ; 
and this accompanied with the cheering assurance, that, by a 



48 REMINISCENCES OF 



merely pleasurable intellectual exertion, he would be able to pro- 
vide for his moderate expenses, and experience the tranquillizing 
jo3''s of seclusion, while the whole country and Europe were con- 
vulsed with war and changes. 

Alas, repose was not made for man, nor man for repose ! Mr. 
Coleridge at this time little thought of the joys and sorrows, the 
vicissitudes of life, and revolutions of feeling, with which he was 
ordained ere long to contend ! Inconveniences connected with his 
residence at Clevedon, not at first taken into the calculation, now 
gradually unfolded themselves. The place was too far from Bris- 
tol. It was difficult of access to friends ; and the neighbors were 
a little too tattling and inquisitive. And then again, Mr. Cole- 
ridge could not well dispense with his literary associates, and par- 
ticularly with his access to that fine institution, the Bristol City 
Library ; and, in addition, as he was necessitated to submit to 
frugal restraints, a walk to Bristol was rather a serious undertak- 
ing ; and a return the same day hardly to be accomplished, in the 
failure of which, his " Sara" was lonely and uneasy ; so that his 
friends urged him to return once more to the place he had left ; 
which he did, forsaking, with reluctance, his rose-bound cottage, 
and taking up his abode on RedclifF-hill. There was now some 
prospect that the printer's types would be again set in motion, 
although it was quite proper that they should remain in abeyance 
while so many grand events were transpiring in the region of the 
domestic hearth. This was late in the year 1795. 

After Mr. Coleridge had been some little time settled in Bris- 
tol, he experienced another removal. To exchange the country, 
and all the beauties of nature, for pent-up rooms on Redcliff-hill, 
demanded from a poet, sacrifices for which a few advantages would 
but ill compensate. In this uneasy state of mind, Mr. C. received 
an invitation from his friend, Mr. T, Poole, of Stowey, Somerset- 
shire, to come and visit him in that retired town, and to which 
place Mr. and Mrs. Coleridge repaired. 

Th^ volume of poems, that, in the presence of so many more 
important affairs, had retired into shade, was now about to re- 
appear, as will be found by the following letter. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHE F. 49 



''Stowey, 
My dear Cottle, 

I feel it much, and very uncomfortable, that, lovmg you as a 
brother, and feeling pleasure in pouring out my heart to you, I 
should so seldom be able to write a letter to you, unconnected 
with business, and uncontaminated with excuses and apologies. 
I give every moment I can spare from my garden and the Re- 
views, (i. e.) from my potatoes and meat, to the poem, (Religious 
Musings,) but I go on slowly, for I torture the poem and myself 
with corrections ; and what I write in an hour, I sometimes take 
two or three days in correcting. You may depend on it, the poem 
and prefaces will take up exactly the number of pages I men- 
tioned, and I am extremely anxious to have the work as perfect 
as possible, and which I cannot do, if it be finished immediately. 
The " Religious Musings" I have altered monstrously, since I read 
them to you and received your criticisms. I shall send them to 
you in my next. The Sonnets I will send you with the Musings. 
God love you ! 

From your affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge. 

Mr. Coleridge at this time meditated the printing of two vol- 
umes of his poems. He thus expresses his intention. 

" I mean to have none but large poems in the second volume ; 
none under three hundred lines ; therefore I have crov/ded all my 
little pieces into this." 

He speaks in the same letter, of two poems which I never saw. 
Perhaps they were composed in his own mind, but never recorded 
on paper ; a practice which Mr. C. sometimes adopted. He thus 
writes : " The ' Nativity' is not quite three hundred lines. It has 
cost me much labor in polishing ; more than any poem I ever 
wrote, and I believe deserves it more. The epistle to Tom. Poole, 
which will come with the ' ISTatii^ty,' is I think one of my most 
pleasing compositions." 

In a letter of Mr. C. dated from Stowey, Mr. Coleridge also 
says, " I have written a Ballad of three hundred lines, and also 
a plan of general study." It appeared right to make these state- 
ments, and it is hoped the productions named may still be in ex- 
istence. 

8 



50 REMINISCENCi^S OF 



Mr. Coleridge now finding it difficult to superintend the press 
at so great a distance as Stowey, and that it interfered also with 
his other literary engagements, he resolved once more to remove 
to Bristol, the residence of so many friends ; and to that city he 
repaired, the beginning of 1796. A conviction now also rested 
on his mind, as there was the prospect of an increase in liis family, 
that he must bestir himself, and effectually call his resolutions into 
exercise. Soon after he was fairly settled, he sent me the follow- 
ing letter. 

" My dear Cottle, 

I have this night and to-morrow for you, being alone, and my 
spirits calm. I shall consult my poetic honor, and of course your 
interest, more by staying at home, than by drinking tea with you. 
I should be happy to see my poems out even by next week, and 
I shall continue in stirrups, that is, shall not dismount my Pegasus, 
till Monday morning, at which time you will have to thank God 
for having done with 

Your affectionate friend always, but author evanescent. 

S. T. C." 

Except for the serious effect, unintentionally produced, a rather 
ludicrous circumstance some time after this occurred, that is, after 
Mr. C. had "mounted his Pegasus" for the last time, and, per- 
mitted, so long ago, *' the lock and key to be turned upon him." 

The promised notes, preface, and some of the text, not having 
been furnished, I had determined to make no further application, 
but to allow Mr. C. to consult his ovfn inclination and convenience. 
Having a friend who wanted an introduction to Mr. Coleridge, I 
invited him to dinner, and sent Mr. C. a note, to name the time, 
and to solicit his company. The bearer of the note was simply 
requested to give it to Mr. C, and not finding him at home, incon- 
siderately brought it back. Mr. Coleridge returning home soon 
after, and learning that I had sent a letter, which was taken back, 
in the supposition that it could relate but to one subject, addressed 
to me the following astounding letter. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 51 

" Redcliff-hill, Feb. 22, 1796. 
My dear Sir, 

It is my duty and business to thank God for all his dispensa- 
tions, and to believe them the best possible ; but, indeed, I think 
I should have been more thankful, if he had made me a journey- 
man shoemaker, instead of an author by trade. I have left my 
friends : I have left plenty ; I have left that ease which would 
have secured a literary immortality, and have enabled me to give 
the public, works conceived in moments of inspiration, and 
pohshed with leisurely solicitude, and alas ! for what have I left 

them ? for who deserted me in the hour of distress, and for 

a scheme of virtue impracticable and romantic ! So I am forced 
to write for bread ! write the flights of poetic enthusiasm, when 
every minute I am hearing a groan from my wife. Groans, and 
complaints, and sickness ! the present hour I am in a quick-set 
hedge of embarrassment, and whichever way I turn, a thorn runs 
into me ! The future is cloud, and thick darkness ! Poverty, 
perhaps, and the thin faces of them that want bread, looking up 
to me ! Nor is this all. My happiest moments for composition 
are' broken in upon by the reflection that I must make haste. I 
am too late ! I am already months behind ! I have received my 
pay beforehand ! Oh, wayward and desultory spirit of genius ! 
Ill canst thou brook a taskmaster ! The tenderest touch from the 
hand of obligation, wounds thee like a scourge of scorpions. 

I have been composing in the fields this morning, and came home 
to write down the first rude sheet of my preface, when I heard 
that your man had brought a note from you. I have not seen it, 
but I guess its contents. I am writing as fast as I can. Depend 
on it you shall not be out of pocket for me ! I feel what I owe 
you, and independently of this, I love you as a friend ; indeed, so 
much, that I regret, seriously regret, that you have been my 
copyholder. 

If I have written petulantly, forgive me. God knows lam 
sore all over. God bless you, and believe me that, setting grati- 
tude aside, I love and esteem you, and have your interest at heart 
full as much as my own. 

^ S. T. Coleridge.'' 



REMINISCENCES OP 



At the receipt of this painful letter, which made me smile and 
sigh at the same moment, my first care was to send the young 
and desponding Bard some of tlie precious metal, to cheer his 
drooping spirits ; to inform him of his mistake ; and to renew my 
invitation ; which was accepted, and at this interview he was as 
cheerful as ever. He saw no difference in my countenance, and 
I perceived none in his. The " thick cloud" and the *' thorn" 
had completely passed away, whilst his brilliant conversation 
charmed and edified the friend for whose sake he had been 
invited. 

At length Mr. Coleridge's volume of poems was completed. 
On the blank leaf of one of the copies, he asked for a pen, and 
wrote the following : 

" Dear Cottle, 

On the blank leaf oT my poems, I can most appropriately write 
my acknowledgments to you, for your too disinterested conduct 
in the purchase of them. Indeed, if ever they should acquire a 
name and character, it might be truly said, the world owed them 
to you. Had it not been for you, none perhaps of them woUld 
have been published, and some not written. 

Your obliged and affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

Bristol, April 15, 1796. 

The particulars respecting the publication of Mr. Coleridge's 
volume of Poems have been continued unbroken, to the exclusion 
of some antecedent circumstances, which will now be noticed. 

If it were my object to give a fictitious, and not a real character; 
to remove, scrupulously, all protuberances that interfered with the 
polish, I might withhold the following letter, which merely shows 
the solicitude with which Mr. C. at this time, regarded small 
profits. His purse, soon after his return to Bristol, being rather 
low, with the demands on it increasing, he devised an ingenious, 
and very innocent plan for replenishing it, in a small way, as will 
thus appear. 

*' My ever dear Cottle, ^ 

Since I last conversed with you on the subject, I have been 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. bZ 

thinking over again the plan I suggested to you, concerning the 
application of Count Rumford's plan to the city of Bristol. I 
have arranged in my mind the manner, and matter of the pam- 
phlet, which would be three sheets, and might be priced at one 
shillmg. 

' Considerations 

Addressed to the Inhabitants of Bristol, 

on a subject of importance, 

(unconnected with PoUtics.) 

BY S. T. C' 

Now I have by me the history of Birmingham, and the history 
of Manchester. By observing the names, revenues, and expendi- 
tures of their different charities, I could easily alter the calcula- 
tions of the " Bristol Address," and, at a trifling expense, and a ' 
few variations, thd same work mioht be sent to Manchester and 

Birminofham. ' Cohsiderations addressed to the inhabitants of 

. *^ 

Birmingham,' &c. I could so order it, that by writing to a par- 

tidular friend, at both places, the pamphlet should be thought to 
have been written areach place, as it certainly would be for each 
place. I think, therefore, 750 might be printed in all. Now will 
you undertake this ? either to print it and divide the profits, or 
(which indeed I should prefer) would you give me three guineas 
for the copy-right ? I would give you the first sheet on Thurs- 
day, the second on the Monday following, the third on the Thurs- 
day following. To each pamphlet I would annex the alterations 
to be made, when the press was stopped at 250/^' 

God love you ! 

S. T. C." 

Mr. Coleridge used occasionally to regret, with even pungency 
of feeling, that he had no relation in the world, to whom, in a time 
of extremity, he could apply "for a little assistance." Reap- 
peared like a being dropped from the clouds, without tie or con- 
nection on earth ; and during the years in which I knew him, he 
never once visited any one of his relations, nor exchanged a letter 
with them. It used to fill myself and others with concern and 
astonishment, that such a man should, apparently, be abandoned. 

* I presented Mr. C. with the three guineas, but forebore the publication. 



54 REMINISCENCES OF 

On some occasions I urged him to break through all impediments, 
and go and visit his friends at Ottery ; this his high spirit could 
not brook. I tlien pressed him to dedicate his Poems to one of 
his relatives, liis brother George, of whom he occasionally spoke 
with peculiar kindness. He was silent ; but some time after, he 
said in a letter, " You, I am sure, will be glad to learn, that I shall 
follow your advice." 

In the poem which thus arose, what can be more touching than 
these lines in his dedication to his brother ? (Second edition.) 

" To me the Eternal Wisdom hath dispensed 
A different fortune, and more different mind — 
Me from the spot where first I sprang to Hght 
Too soon transplanted, ere my soul had fixed 
Its first domestic loves ; and hence through life 
Chasing chance-started friendships, A brief while, 
Some have preserved me from life's pelting ills." 

In certain features of their character, there wa-s a stronof resem- 
blance between Chatterton and S. T. Coleridge, with a reverse in 
some points, for Chatterton was loved and cherished by his family, 
but neglected by the world. In the agony of mind which Mr. C. 
sometimes manifested on this subject, I have wished to forget 
those four tender lines in his Monody on Chatterton. 

'' Poor Chatterton ! farewell ! Of darkest hues, 
This chaplet cast I on thy unshaped tomb : 
But dare no longer on the sad theme muse, 
Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred doom ! " 

Mr. C. would not have felt so much, if his own natural and un- 
shaken affections had been less ardent. 

Before I enter on an important incident in Mr. Coleridge's Bris- 
tol life, I must previously observe, that his mind was in a singular 
degree distinguished for the habit of projecting. ]N'ew projects 
and plans, at this time, followed each other in rapid succession, 
and while the vividness of the impression lasted, the very comple- 
tion could scarcely have afforded more satisfaction than the vague 
design. To project, with him, was commonly sufficient. The ex- 
ecution, of so much consequence, in the estimation of others, with 



8. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 55 

him was a secondary point. I remember him once to have read 
to me, from his pocket-book, q, hst of eighteen different works 
which he had resolved to write, and several of them in quarto, 
not one of which he ever eff'ected. At the top of the list appeared 
the word " Pantisocracy ! 4to." Each of these works, he could 
have talked, (for he often poured forth as much as half an 8vo. 
volume in a single evening, and that in language sufficiently pure 
and connected to admit of publication,) but talking- merely benefits 
the few, to the exclusion of the many. The work that apparentl}'- 
advanced the nearest to completion, was " Translations of the 
modern Latin Poets ;" tAvo vols. 8vo. Tins work, whicli no man 
could better have accomplished than himself, he so far proceeded 
in, as to allow of the Proposals being issued. It was to be pub- 
lished by subscription, and he brought witli him from Cambridge 
a very respectable list of university subscribers. His excuses for 
not showing any part of the work, justified the suspicion that he 
had not advanced in it further than these said *' Proposals." 

Another prominent feature in Mr. Coleridge's mind, was pro- 
crastination. It is not to be supposed tliat he ever made a promise 
or entered on an engagement Avithout intending to fulfil it, but 
none who knew him could deny that he wanted much of that 
steady, persevering determination w^hich is the precursor of suc- 
cess, and the parent of all great actions. His strongest intentions 
were feebly supported after the first paroxysms of resolve, so that 
any judicious friend would strenuously have dissuaded him from 
an undertaking that involved a race with time. Mr. Coleridge, 
however, differently regarded his mental constitution, and pro- 
jected at this time a periodical miscellany, called ^' The Watch- 
man." 

When the thought of this magazine first suggested itself to his 
mind, he convened his chief friends one evening at the Rummer 
Tavern, to determine on the size, price, and time of publishing, 
with all other preliminaries, essential to the launching this first- 
rate vessel on the mighty deep. Having heard of the circumstance 
the next day, I rather wondered at not having also been requested 
to attend, and while ruminating on the subject, I received from 
Mr. C. the followino^ communication. 



56 REMINISCENCES OF 

" My dear Friend, 

I am fearful that you felt hurt at my not mentioning to you the 
proposed ' Watchman,' and from my not requesting you to attend 
the meeting. My dear friend, my reasons were these. All who 
met were expected to become subscribers to a fund ; I knew there 
would be enough without you, and I knew, and felt, how much 
money had been drawn from you lately. 

God Almighty love you ! 

S. T, C." 

In a fev,^ days the following prospectus of the new work was 
circulated far and near. 

" To supply at once the places of a Review, Newspaper, and Annual Reg- 
ister. 

On Tuesday, the 1st of March, 179G, will be published. No. 1, price four- 
pence, of a Miscellany, to be continued every eighth day, under the name of 

THE WATCHMAiSr, 

EY SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE. 

This Miscellany will be comprised in two sheets, or thirty-two pages, closely 
printed in 8vo. the type, long primmer. 

ITS CONTENTS, 

1st. A history of the Domestic and Foreign Policy of the preceding days. 

2d. The Speeches in both Houses of Parliament, and during the recess. 
Select Parliamentary Speeches, from the commencement of the reign of 
Charles the First, to the present Era, with Notes, Historical and Biograph- 
ical. 

3d. Original Essays and Poetry. 

4th. Review of interesting and important Publications. 

ITS ADVANTAGES. 

First. There being no Advertisements, a greater quantity of Original matter 
will be given, and the Speeches in Parliament v^ill be less abridged. 

Second. From its form, it ma}^ be bound up at the end of the year, and be- 
come an Annual Register. 

Third. This last circumstance may induce men of letters to prefer this mis- 
cellany to more perishable publications as the vehicle of their effusions. 

Fourth. Whenever the Ministerial and Opposition Prints differ in their ac- 
counts of occurrences, &c., such difference will always be faithfully stated." 

Of all men, Mr. Coleridge was the least qualified to display 
periodical industry. Many of his cooler friends entertained from 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHED. 57 

the beginning no sanguine expectations of success, but now that 
the experiment was fairly to be tried, they united with him in 
making every exertion to secure it. 

As a magazine it was worth nothing without purchasers. Bristol 
was the strong-hold, where about two hundred and fifty sub- 
scribers were obtained by myself, and one hundred and twenty 
by Mr. Read. These were insufficient. What was to be done ? 
A bold measure was determined upon. Mr. Coleridge, conceiving 
that his means of subsistence depended upon the success of this 
undertaking, armed himself Avith uuAvonted resolution, and ex- 
pressed his determination to travel over half England and take 
the posse comitatus by storm. 

In conformity with such resolution, he obtained letters of in- 
troduction to influential men in the respective towns he meant to 
visit, and, like a shrewd calculator, determined to add the parson's 
avocation to that of the political pamphleteer. The beginning of 
Jan. 1796, Mr. Coleridge, laden Avith recommendatory epistles, 
and rich in hope, set out on his eventful journey, and visited in 
succession, Worcester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Lichfield, Derby, 
Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, (fee. and as a crowning achieve- 
ment, at the last, paid his respects to the great metropohs ; in all 
which places, by bills, prospectuses, advertisements, and other 
expedients, the reading public v/ere duly apprised of the " New 
Review, Newspaper, and Annual Register," about to be pub- 
lished. 

The good people, in all the towns through which Mr. Cole- 
ridge passed, were electrified by his extraordinary eloquence. At 
this time, and during the vrhole of his residence in Bristol, there 
was, in the strict sense, little of the true, interchangeable conver- 
sation in Mr. C. On almost every subject on which he essayed 
to speak, he made an impassioned harangue of a quarter, or half 
an hour; so that inveterate talkers, while Mr. Coleridge was on 
the wing, generally suspended their own flight, and felt it almost 
a profanation to interrupt so impressive and mellifluous a speaker. 
This singular, if not happy peculiarity, occasioned even Madame 
de Stael to remark of Mr. C. that *' He was rich in a Monologue, 
but poor in a Dialogue." 

From the brilliant volubility before noticed, admiration and 



58 REMINISCENCES OF 

astonishment followed Mr. C. like a shadow, through the whole 
course of his peregrinations. This new " Review, Newspaper, 
and Annual Register," was largely patronized ; for who would 
not give fourpence every eighth day, to be furnished, by so com- 
petent a man as Mr. Coleridge, with this quintessence, this con- 
centration of all that was valuable, in Politics, Criticism, and 
Literature ; enriched in addition, with Poetry of the first waters, 
luminous Essays, and other effusions of men of letters ? So 
choice a morgeau was the very thing that everybody wanted ; and, 
in the course of his journey, subscriptions poured in to the extent 
of one thousand ; and Mr. C. on his return, after what might be 
called a triumph, discovered the elasticity of his spirit ; smiling 
at past depressions, and now, on solid ground, anticipating ease, 
wealth, and fame. 

The first of March arrived. The " Watchman" was published. 
Although deprived of the pleasure of contributing to Mr. Cole- 
ridge's fund, I determined to assist him in other ways, and that 
far more effectually. On the publication of the first Number, 
besides my trouble in sending round to many subscribers, — with 
all the intense earnestness attending the transaction of the most 
weighty concerns, it occupied Mr. Coleridge and myself four full 
hours to arrange, reckon, (each pile being counted by Mr. C. after 
myself, to be quite satisfied that there was no extra 3^d. one 
slipped in unawares,) pack up, and write invoices and letters for 
the London and country customers, all expressed thus, in the true 
mercantile style : 

Bristol, March 1st, 1796. 
Mr. Pritchard, (Derby) 

Dr. to Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 
To 73 No. 1 of the Watchman . . . 3id. ... £l 1 3i 

This routine was repeated with every fresh number. My part 
was zealously and cheerfully discharged, with the encouraging 
hope that it would essentially serve my anxious and valued friend. 
But all would net do ! 

A feeling of disappointment prevailed early and pretty gener- 
ally, amongst the subcribers. The Prospectus promised too 
much. In the Review department, no one article appeared em- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 59 

bodying any high order of talent. The Newspaper section pleased 
no one, from the confined limits to which the editor was restricted, 
independently of which, nearly all the subscribers had seen the 
Debates in their length, through other mediums ; and yet this 
profitless part of the work gave most trouble to the compiler. Its 
dulness, I know, fretted Mr. Coleridge exceedingly.* 

The theory of publishing was delightful ; but the exemplifica- 
tion — ^the practice, proved, alas ! teasing, if not tormenting. One 
pitiful subscriber of fourpence, every eighth day, thought his boys 
did not improve much under it. Another expected more from 
his "Annual Register !" Another wanted more Reviews! An- 
other, more Politics ! and those a little sharper. As the work 
proceeded, joys decreased, and perplexities multiplied ! added to 
which, subscribers rapidly fell oflf, debts were accumulated and 
unpaid, till at the Tenth Number, the Watchman at the helm 
cried " Breakers, " and the vessel stranded ! — It being formally 
announced, that " The work did not pay its expenses !" 

The " Address to the readers of the Watchman,'' in the last 
page, was the following : 

" This is the last Number of the Watchman. — Henceforward I shall cease 
to cry the state of the Political atmosphere. While I express my gratitude to 
those friends who exerted themselves so liberally in the establishment of this 
Miscellany, I may reasonably be expected to assign some reason for relin- 
quishing it thus abruptly. The reason is short and satisfactory. — The work 
does not pay its expenses. Part of my subscribers have relinquished it, be- 
cause it did not contain sufficient original composition ; and a still larger 
number, because it contained too much. Those who took it in as a mere 
journal of weekly events, must have been unacquainted with 'Flower's 

* I received a note, at this time, from Mr. Coleridge, evidently written in a 
moment of perturbation, apologizing for not accepting an invitation of a more 
congenial nature, on account of his " Watch drudgery." At another time, he 
was reluctantly made a prisoner from the same cause, as will appear by the 
following note. 
'' My dear Cottle, April, 1796. 

My eye is so inflamed that I cannot stir out. It is alarmingly inflamed. 
In addition to this, the Debates which Burnet undertook to abridge for me, he 
has abridged in such a careless, slovenly manner, that I was obliged to throw 
them into the fire, and am now doing them myself! 
♦ * * ♦ S. T. C." 



60 REMINISCENCES OF 

Cambridge Intelligkncer;' a Newspaper, the style and composition of 
which would claim distinguished praise, even among the productions of liter- 
ary leisure ; while it breathes everywhere the severest morality ; fighting fear- 
lessly the good fight against tyranny, yet never unfaithful to that religion, 
whose service is perfect freedom. Those, on the other hand, who expected 
from it much and varied original composition, have naturally relinquished it in 
favor of the ' New Monthly Magazine ;' a work which has almost monopo- 
lized the talent of the country, and with which I should have continued a 
course of literary rivalship, with as much success as might be expected to at- 
tend a young recruit, who should oppose himself to a phalanx of disciplined 
warriors. Long may it continue to deserve the support of the patriot and the 
philanthropist; and while it teaches its readers rational liberty, prepare 
them for the enjoyment of it; strengthening the intellect by science, and soft- 
ening our affections by the graces ! To return to myself I have endeavored 
to do well : and it must be attributed to defect of ability, not of inclination or 
effort, if the words of the Prophet be altogether applicable to me. 

" O, Watchman ! thou hast watched in vain." 

Many readers will feel a concern in the arrangements and per- 
plexities of Mr. Coleridge at the time of publishing his " Watch- 
man ;" for he had a more vital interest involved in the success of 
that work than he had, individually, in the rise and fall of empires. 
"When he returned from his northern journey laden with sub- 
scribers, and with hope ripened into confidence, all that had yet 
been done was the mere scaffolding ; the building was now to be 
erected. Soon after this time I received from Mr. Coleridge the 
following letter. 

*'My ever dear Cottle, 1796. 

I will wait on you this evening at 9 o'clock, till which hour I 
am on "Watch." Your Wednesday's invitation I of course ac- 
cept, but I am rather sorry that you should add this expense to 
former liberalities. 

Two editions of my Poems would barely repay you. Is it not 
possible to get twenty-five, or thirty of the Poems ready by to- 
morrow, as Parsons, of Paternoster Row, has written to me 
pressingly about them. * People are perpetually asking after 
them.' All admire the Poetry in the ' Watchman ;' he says, I 
can send them with one hundred " of the First IS'umber," which 
he has written for. I think if you were to send half a dozen 
* Joans of Arc,' [4to. £l. 1. 0] on sale or return, it would not be 



S. T. COLERIDGE A?<D R. SOUTHEV. 61 

amiss. To all the places in the North, vve will send my 'Poems,' 
my 'Conciones,' and the 'Joans of Arc,' together, per waggon. 
You shall pay the carriage for the London and the Birmingham 
parcels ; I for the Slieffield, Derby, Nottingham, Manchester, and 
Liverpool. 

With regard to the Poems I mean to give away, I wish to 
make it a common interest ; that is, I will give away a sheet full 
of Sonnets. One to Mrs. Barbauld ; one to Wakefield ; one to 
Dr. Beddoes ; one to Wrangham, (a College acquaintance of 
mine, an admirer of me, and a pitier of my principles !) one to 
George Augustus Pollen, Esq. one to C. Lamb ; one to Words- 
worth ; one to my brother G. and one to Dr. Parr. These 
Sonnets I mean to write on the blank leaf, respectively, of each 
copy.^' 

Concerning the paper for the ' Watchman,' I was vexed to hear 
your proposal of trusting it to Biggs, who, if he undertook it at 
all, would have a profit, which heaven knows, I cannot afford. 
My plan was, either that you should write to your paper-maker, 
saying that you had recommended him to me, and ordering for 
me twenty or forty reams, at a half year's credit ; or else, in your 
own name ; in which case I would transfer to you, Reed'sf weekly 
account, amounting to 120 3^d's, (or 35 shillings), and the Bir- 
mingham monthly account, amounting to £14. a month. 

God bless you, 

and S. T. Coleridge." 

This letter requires a few explanations. In recommending that 
Biggs, the printer, should choose the paper, it was not designed 
for him to provide it, which, had he been so requested, he would 
not have done, but merely to select one, out of different samples 
to be submitted to him, as that which he, as a printer, thought 
the best. This was explained to Mr.- C. It will be perceived, 
that Mr. Coleridge's two proposals w^ere virtually one : as, if I 
ordered the paper for myself or for another, the responsibility 
would rest w^th me. The plain fact is, I purchased the whole of 

* This " sheet" of Sonnets never arrived. 

t A late worthy bookseller of Bristol, who by his exertions obtained one 
hundred and twenty subscribers for Mr. C. 



62 REMINISCENCES OF 



the paper for the " Watchman," allowing Mr. C. to have it at 
prime cost, and receiving small sums from him occasionally, in 
liquidation. I became responsible, also, to Mr. B.for printing the 
work, by which means I reduced the price per sheet, as a book- 
seller, (1000) from fifty shillings to thirty five shillings. Mr. C. 
paid me for the paper in fractions, as he found it convenient, but 
from the falling ofi* of his own receipts, I never received the 
whole. It was a losing concern altogether, and I was willing to 
bear, uncomplaining, my proportion of the loss. There is some 
difference between this statement, and that of Mr. Coleridge in 
his " Biographia Literaria."* A defect of memory must have 
existed, arising out of the lapse of twenty two years ; but my 
notices, made at that time, did not admit of mistake. 

My loss was also augmented from another cause. Mr. C. 
states in the above work, that his London publisher never paid 
him " one farthing," but '' set him at defiance." I also was 
more than his equal companion in this misfortune. The thirty 
copies of Mr. C.*s poems, and the six "Joans of Arc" (referred 
to in the preceding letter) found a ready sale, by this said " in- 
defatigable London publisher," and large and fresh orders were 
received, so that Mr. Coleridge and myself participated in two 
very opposite feelings, the onp of exultation that our publications 
had found so good a sale ; and the other of depression, that the 
time of payment never arrived ! 

All the copies also, of Mr. C.'s Poems, and the " Joan's of 
Arc," which were sent to the North, as far as I am concerned, 
shared the same fate. I do not know that they were ever paid 
for. If they were, in combination with other things, it was my 
wish that the entanglement should never be unravelled, for who 
could take from Mr. C. any portion of his slender remittances. 

The most amusing appendage to this unfortunate " Miscellany," 

* " My Bristol printer of the Watchman refused to wait a month for his 
money, and threatened to throw me into jail for between eighty and ninety 
pounds; when the money was paid by a friend" — Biographia Literaria. 
Mr. C.'s memory was here grievously defective. The fact is, Biggs the printer 
(a worthy man) never threatened nor even importuned for his money. In- 
stecid also o^ nine numbers of the Watchman, there were t€n\ and the print- 
ing of these ten numbers came but to thirty five pounds. The whole of the 
Paper (which cost more than the Printing) was paid for by the Writer. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 63 

will now be presented to the reader, in the seven following letters 
of Mr. Coleridge, addressed to his friend Mr. Josiah Wade, and 
written in the progress of his journey to collect subscribers for 
the "Watchman." 

*' Worcester, Jan. lY96. 
My dear Wade, 

We were five in number, and twenty-five in quantity. The 
moment I entered the coach, I stumbled on* a huge projection, 
which might be called a belly, with the same propriety that you 
might name Mount Atlas a mole-hill. Heavens ! that a man 
should be unconscionable enough to enter a stage coach, who 
would want elbow room if he were walking on Salisbury Plain ! 

This said citizen was a most violent aristocrat, but a pleasant hu- 
morous fellow in other respects, and remarkably well-informed in 
agricultural science : so that the time passed pleasantly enough. 
We arrived at Worcester at half-past two : I of course dined at 
the inn, where I met Mr. Stevens. After dinner I christianized 
myself; that is, washed and changed, and marched in finery and 
cleanliness to High-Street. With regard to business, there is no 
chance of doing anything at Worcester. The aristocrats are so 
numerous, and the influence of the clergy so extensive, that Mr. 
Barr thinks no bookseller will venture to publish the " Watchman." 

P.S. I hope and trust that the young citizeness is well, and 
also Mrs. Wade. Give my love to the latter, and a kiss for me 
to little Miss Bratinella. S. T. Coleridge." 

''Birmingham, Jan. 1796. 
My dear friend, 

* * * My exertions have been incessant, for in whatever 
company I go, I am obliged to be the figurante of the circle. 
Yesterday I preached twice, and, indeed, performed the whole 
service, morning and afternoon. There were about fourteen hun- 
dred persons present, and my sermons (great part extempore) 
were preciously peppered with Politics. I have here, at least, 
double the number of subscribers, I iftd expected. * * *" 

"Nottingham, Jan. Y, 1Y96. 
My dear friend, 

You will have perceived by this letter I have changed my route. 



64 REMINISCENCES OF 



From Birmingham, on Friday last, (four o'clock in the moraing,) 
I proceeded to Derby, stayed there till Monday morning, and am 
now at Nottingham. From Nottingham I go to Sheffield ; from 
Sheffield to Manchester; from Manchester to Liverpool? from 
Liverpool to London, from London to Bristol ? Ah, what a 
weary way ! My poor crazy ark has been tossed to and fro on 
an ocean of business, and I long for the mount Ararat on which 
it is to rest. At Birmingham I was extremely unwell ; a violent 
cold in my head an4 limbs confined me for two days. Business 
succeeded ^-ery well ; about a hundred subscribers, I think. 

At Derby, also, I succeeded tolerably well. Mr. Strutt, the 
successor of Sir Richard Arkwright, tells me, I may count on 
forty or fifty in Derby. Derby is full of curiosities ; the cotton 
and silk mills ; Wright, the painter, and Dr. Darwin, the every- 
thing but christian ! Dr. Darwin possesses, perhaps, a greater 
range of knov/ledge than any other man in Europe, and is the 
most inventive of philosophical men. He thinks in a new train 
on all subjects but religion. He bantered me on the subject of 
religion. I heard all his arguments, and told him, it w^as infinitely 
consoling to me — to find that the arguments of so great a man, 
adduced against the existence of a God and the evidences of re- 
vealed religion, were such as had startled me at fifteen, but had 
become the objects of my smile at twenty. Not one new objec- 
tion ; not even an ingenious one ! He boasted ' that he had 
never read one book in favor of such stuff ! but that he had read 
all the works of infidels.' 

What would you think, Mr. Wade, of a man, who having 
abused and ridiculed you, should openly declare, that he had 
heard all that your enemies had to say against you, but had 
scorned to inquire the truth from any one of your friends ? 
Would you think him an honest man ? I am sure you would not. 
Yet such are all the infidels whom I have known. They talk of 
a subject, yet are proud to confess themselves profoundly ignorant 
of it. Dr. Darwin would have been ashamed to reject ' Hutton's 
Theory of the Earth,' withmit having minutely examined it : yet 
what is it to us, how the earth was made, a thing impossible to 
be known. This system the Dr. did not reject without having 
severely studied it ; but all at once he makes up his mind on such 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 65 



important subjects, as, whether we be the outcasts of a bhnd 
idiot, called Nature, or tlie children of an All- wise and Infinitely 
Good God ! Whether we spend a few miserable years on this 
earth, and then sink into a clod of the valley ; or, endure the anx- 
ieties of mortal life, only to fit us for the enjoyment of immiortal 
happiness. These subjects are unworthy a philosopher's investi- 
gation ! He deems that there is a certain self-evidence in Infidel- 
ity, and becomes an Atheist by intuition ! Well did St. Paul say, 
'Ye have an evil heart of unbelief.' 

"*= ^ * What lovely children 'Mr. Earr, of Worcester has ! 
After church, in the evening, they sat round and sung hymns, so 
sw^eetly that they overpowered me. It was v.ith great difficulty 
that I abstained from weeping aloud ! and the infant, in Mrs. B's. 
arms, leant forward, and stretched his little arms, and stared, and 
smiled ! It seem.ed a picture of heaven, where the different or- 
ders of the blessed, join different voices in one melodious halle- 
lulia ! and the babe like a young spirit just that moment arrived 
in heaven, startled at the seraphic songs, and seized at once w4th 
wonder and rapture 1 ^'^ ^ * 

From your affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge.*' 

-Sheffield, Jan. 1796. 
My very dear friend, 

I arrived at this place, late last night, by the mail from Notting- 
ham, where I have been treated with kindness and friendship, of 
which I can give you but a faint idea. I preached a charity ser- 
mon there last Sunday ; I preached in colored clothes. With re- 
gard to the gown at Birmingham (of which you inquire) I suffered 
myself to be over-persuaded : — first of all, my sermon being of 
so political a tendency, had I w^orn my blue coat, it w^ould have 
impugned Edwards. They w^ould have said, he had stuck a po- 
litical lecturer in his pulpit. Secondly, — the society is of all sorts. 
Unitarians, Arians, Trinitarians, &c. ! and I must have shocked a 
multitude of prejudices. And thirdly, — there is a difference be- 
tween an Inn, and a place of residence. In the first, your exam- 
ple, is of little consequence ; in a single instance only, it ceases to 
operate as example ; and my refusal Avould have been imputed to 



66 REMINISCENCES OF 

affectation, or an imaccommodating spirit. Assuredly I would not 
do it in a place where I intended to preach often. And even in 
the vestry at Birmingham, wlien they at last persuaded me, I told 
them, I was acting against my better knowledge, and should pos- 
sibly feel uneasy after. So these accounts of the matter you 
must consider as reasons and palliations, concluding, ' I plead 
guilty my Lord f Indeed I want firmness. I perceive I do. I 
have that within me which makes it difficult to say, No ! (repeat- 
edly) to a number of persons who seem uneasy and anxious. ^ * 
My kind remembrances to Mrs. Wade. God bless her, and 
you, and (like a bad shilling slipped in between two guineas) 
Your faithful and affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

Mr. Coleridge, in the course of his extensive journey, having 
had to act the tradesman on rather an extended scale ; conferring 
and settling with all the booksellers in the respective towns, as to 
the means of conveyance, allowance, remittances, &c., he thus 
wrote in a dejected mood, to his friend Mr. Wade, — an unpropi- 
tious state of mind for a new enterprise, and very different from 
those sanguine hopes which he had expressed on other occasions. 

** My dear friend, 

* "^'^ * I succeeded very well here at Litchfield. Belcher, 
bookseller, Birmingham ; Sutton, Nottingham. ; Pritchard, Der- 
by ; and Thomson, ]\Ianchester, are the publishers. In every 
number of the ' Watchman,' there will be printed these words, 
* Published in Bristol, by the Author, S. T. Coleridge, and sold, 
&c., &c. 

I verily believe no poor fellow's idea-pot ever bubbled up so 
vehemently with fears, doubts and difficulties, as mine does at 
present. Heaven grant it may not boil over, and put out the 
fire ! I am almost heartless ! My past life seems to me like a 
dream, a feverish dream ! all ^one gloomy huddle of strange ac- 
tions, and dim-discovered motives ! Friendships lost by indo- 
lence, and happiness murdered by mismanaged sensibility ! The 
present hour I seem in a quickset hedge of embarrassments ! For 
sliame ! I ought not to mistrust God ! but indeed, to hope is 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 67 

far more difficult than to fear. Bulls have horns, Lions have 
talons. 

The Fox, and Statesman subtle wiles insure, 
The Cit, and Polecat stink and are secure : 
Toads with their venom, Doctors with their drug, 
The Priest, and Hedgehog, in their robes are snug ! 
Oh, Nature ! cruel step-mother, and hard, 
To thy poor, naked, fenceless child the Bard ! 
No Horns but those by luckless Hymen worn, 
f And those, (alas ! alas !) not Plenty's Horn ! 

With naked feelings, and with aching pride, 
He bears th' unbroken blast on every side ! 
Vampire booksellers drain him to the heart, 
And Scorpion critics cureless venom dart !* 

S. T. C." 

"Manchester, Jan. 7, 1796. 
My dear Friend, 

I arrived at Manchester, last night, from Sheffield, to which 
place I shall only send about thirty numbers. I might have suc- 
ceeded there, at least equally well with the former towns, but I 
should injure the sale of the 'Iris,' the editor of which paper (a 
very amiable and ingenious young man, of the name of ' James 
Montgomery,' is now in prison, for a libel on a bloody-minded 
magistrate there. Of course, I declined publicly advertising or 
disposing of the ' Watchman' in that town. 

This morning I called on Mr. with H.'s letter. Mr. 

received me as a rider, and treated nie with insolence that was 
really amusing from its novelty. ' Overstocked with these arti- 
cles.' 'People always setting up some new thing or other.' ' I 
read the Star and another paper ; what can I want with this paper, 
which is nothing more ?' ' Well, Avell, I'll consider of it.' To 
these entertaining bon mots, I returned the following repartee, — 
' Good morning, sir.' ^ -^ -^ 

God bless you, S. T. C." 

* It is evident Mr. C. must have had cause of complaint against one or^ 
more of the booksellers before named. It could not apply to myself, as I in-" 
variably adhered to a promise I had at the commencement given Mr. Cole- 
ridge, not to receive any allowance for what copies of the ' Watchman' 1 
might be so happy as to sell for him. 



68 REMINISCENCES OF 



" Mosely, near Birminghain, 1796. 
My very dear Wade, 

Will it be any excuse to you for my silence, to say that I have 
written to no one else, and that these are the very first lines I 
have written ? 

I stayed a day or two at Derby, and then went on in Mrs. 's 

carriage to see the beauties of Matlock. Here I stayed from 
Tuesday to Saturday, which time was completely filled up with 
seeing the country, eating, concerts, &c. I was the first fiddle, not 
in the concerts, but everywhere else, and the company would not 
spare me twenty minutes together. Sunday I dedicated to the 
drawing up my sketch of education, which I meant to publish, to 
try to get a school. 

Monday I accompanied Mrs. E. to Oakover, with Miss W. , 

to the thrice lovely valley of Ham ; a vale hung by beautiful 
woods all round, except just at its entrance, w^here, as you stand 
at the other end of the valley, you see a bare, bleak mountain, 
standing as it were to guard the entrance. It is without excep- 
tion, the most beautiful place I ever visited, and from thence we 
proceeded to Dove-Dale, without question tremendously sublime. 
Here we dined in a cavern, by the side of a divine little spring. 
We returned to Derby, quite exhausted wdth the rapid succession 
of delightful emotions. 

I was to have left Derby on Wednesday ; but on the AVednes- 
day, Dr. Crompton, who had been at Liverpool, came home. He 
called on me, and made the following offer. That if I w^ould take 
a house in Derby, and open a day-school, confining my number to 
twelve, he would send his three children. That, till I had com- 
pleted my number, he would allow^ me one hundred a year ; and 
when I had completed it, tw^enty guineas a year for each son. He 
thinks there is no doubt but that I might have more than twelve 
in a very short time, if I liked it. If so, twelve times twenty 
guineas is two hundred and forty guineas per annum ; and my 
mornings and evenings would be my own : the children coming to 
me from nine to tvrelve, and from two to ^ve : the two last hours 
employed with the wnting and drawing masters, in my presence : 
so that only four hours would be thoroughly occupied by them. 
The plan to commence in IN'ovember. I agreed with the Doctor, 



1 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 69 

lie telling me, that if, in the meantime, anything more advantageous 
offered itself, 1 was to consider myself perfectly at liberty to ac- 
cept it. 

On Thursday I left Derby for Burton. From Burton I took 
chaise, slept at Litchfield, and in the morning arrived at my 
worthy friend's, Mr. Thomas Hawkes, at Mosely, three miles from 
Birmingham, in whose shrubbery I am now writing. I shall stay 
at Birmingham a week longer. 

I have seen a letter from Mr. William Roscoe, (Author of the 
life of Lorenzo the magnificent ; a work in two quarto volumes, of 
which the whole first edition sold in a month ;) it was addressed to 
Mr. Edwards, the minister here, and entirely related to me. Of 
me, and my composition, he vrrites in terms of high admiration, 
and concludes by desiring Mr. Edwards to let him know my situa- 
tion and prospects, and saying, if I would come and settle at Liv- 
erpool, he thought a comfortable situation might be procured for 
me. This day Edwards will y»Tite to him. 

God love you, and your grateful and affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge. 

N. B. I preached yesterday." 

Mr. Coleridge, in the preceding letters, states his having preached 
occasionally. There must have been a first sermon. It so hap- 
pened that I heard Mr. C. preach his first and also his second ser- 
mon, with some account of which I shall now furnish the reader ; 
and that without concealment or embellishment. But it will be 
necessary, as an illustration of the whole, to convey some previous 
information, which, as it regards most men, would be too unim- 
portant to relate. 

When Mr. Coleridge first came to Bristol, he had evidently 
adopted, at least to some considerable extent, the sentiments of 
Socinus. By persons of that persuasion, therefore, he was hailed 
as a powerful accession to their cause. From Mr. C.'s voluble 
utterance, it was even believed that he might become a valuable 
Unitarian minister, (of which class of divines, a great scarcity 
then existed, with a still more gloomy anticipation, from most of 
the young academicians at their chief academy having recently 
turned infidels.) But though this presumption in Mr. Coleridge's 



70 REMINISCENCES OF 

favor was confidently entertained, no certainty could exist without 
a trial, and how was this difficulty to be overcome ? The Unita- 
rians in Bristol might have wished to see Mr. C. in their pulpit, 
expounding and enforcing their faith ; but, as they said, " the 
thing, in Bristol, was altogether impracticable," from the conspic- 
uous stand which he had taken in free politics, through the me- 
dium of his numerous lectures.^ « 

It was then recollected by some of his anxious and importunate 
friends, that Bath was near, and that a good judge of requisite 
qualifications was to be found therein in the person of the Rev. 
David Jardine, with whom some of Mr. C.'s friends were on terms 
of intimacy ; so that it was determined that Mr. Coleridge, as the 
commencement of his brilliant career, should be respectfully re- 
quested to preach his inaugural discourse in the Unitarian chapel 
at Bath. 

The invitation having been given and accepted, I felt some cu- 
riosity to witness the firmness with which he would face a large 
and enlightened audience, and, in the intellectual sense, grace his 
canonical robes. 'No conveyance having been provided, and wish- 
ing the young ecclesiastic to proceed to the place of his exhibition 
with some decent respectability, I agreed with a common friend, 
the late Mr. Charles Danvers, to take Mr. C. over to Bath in a 
chaise. 

The morning of the important day unfolded, and in due time 

* In all Mr. Coleridge's lectures, he was a steady opposer of Mr. Pitt, and 
the then existing war ; and also an enthusiastic admirer of Fox, Sheridan, 
Grey, &c., &c., but his opposition to the reigning politics discovered little as- 
perity ; it chiefly appeared by wit and sarcasm, and commonly ended in that 
which was the speaker's chief object, a laugh. 

Few attended Mr. C.'s lectures but those whose political views were similar 
to his own ; but on one occasion, some gentlemen of the opposite party came 
into the lecture-room, and at one sentiment they heard, testified their disap- 
probation by the only easy and safe way in their power ; namely, by a hiss. 
The auditors were startled at so unusual a sound, not knowing to what it 
might conduct ; but their noble leader soon quieted their fears, by instantly 
remarking with great coolness, " I arp not at all surprised, when the red-hot 
prejudices of aristocrats are suddenly plunged into the cool water of reason, 
that they should go off with a hiss !" The words were electric. The assail- 
ants felt, as well as testified, their confusion, and the whole company con- 
firmed it by immense applause ! There was no more hissing. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 71 

we arrived at the place of our destination. When on the way to 
the chapel, a man stopped Charles Dan vers, and asked him if he 
could tell where the Rev. Mr. Coleridge preached. '' Follow the 
crowd," said Danvers, and walked on. Mr. C. wore his blue coat 
and white waistcoat ; but what was Mr. Jardine's surprise, when 
he found that his young probationer peremptorily refused to wear 
the hide-all sable gown ! Expostulation w^s unavailing, and the 
minister ascended to the pulpit in his cdlored clothes ! 

Considering that it had been announced on the preceding Sun- 
day, that " the Rev. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from Cambridge 
University," would preach there on this day, we naturally calcu- 
lated on an overflowing audience, but it proved to be the most 
meagre congregation I had ever seen. The reader will but im- 
perfectly appreciate Mr. C.'s discourse, without the previous in- 
formation that this year (1796) was a year of great scarcity, and 
consequent privation, amongst the poor ; on which subject the 
sermon was designed impressively to bear. And now the long 
expected service commenced. 

The prayer, without being intended, was formal, unimpressive, 
and undevotional ; the singing was languid ; but we expected that 
the sermon would arouse the inattentive, and invigorate the dull. 
The moment for announcing the text arrived. Our curiosity was 
excited. With little less than famine in the land, our hearts were 
appalled at hearing' the words, '' When they shall be hungry, they 
shall fret themselves, and curse their king, and their God, and 
look upward." (Isaiah viii. 21.) Mr. Winterbotham, a little be- 
fore, had been thrown into prison for the freedom of his political 
remarks in a sermon at Plymouth, and we were half fearful whether 
in his impetuous current of feeling, some sirr s expressions might 
not subject our friend to a like visitation. Our fears were groimd- 
less. Strange as it may appear in Mr. Coleridge's vigorous mind, 
the whole discourse consisted of little more than a Lecture on the 
Corn Laws ! which some time before he had delivered in Bristol, 
at the Assembly Room. 

Returning from our edifying discourse to a tavern dinner, we 
were privileged with more luminous remarks on this inexhaustible 
subject : but something better (or worse, as the reader's taste may 
be) is still in reserve. After dinner, Mr. Coleridge remarked that 



72 REMINISCENCES OF 



he should have no objection to preach another sermon that after- 
noon. In the hope that sometiiing redeeming might still appear, 
and the best be retained for the last, we encouraged his proposal, 
when he rang the bell, and on the waiter appearing, he was sent, 
with Mr. Coleridge's compliments, to the Rev. Mr. Jardme, to say, 
"If agreeable, Mr. C. would give his congregation another ser- 
mon, this afternoon, on the Hair Powder Tax !"* On the depar- 
ture of the waiter, I was fully assured that Mr. Jardine would 
smile, and send a civil excuse, satisfied that he had had quite 
enough of political economy, with blue coat and white waistcoat, 
in the morning ; but to my great surprise, the waiter returned with 
Mr. Jardine's compliments, saying, " he should be happy to hear 
Mr. Coleridge !" 

Now all was hurry lest the concourse should be kept waiting. 
What surprise will the reader feel, on understanding that, inde- 
pendently of ourselves and Mr. Jardine, there were but seventeen 
persons present, including men, women, and children ! We had, 
as we expected, a recapitulation of the old lecture, with the ex- 
ception of its humorous appendages, in reprobation of the Hair 
Powder Tax ; and the twice-told tale, even to the ear of friendship, 
in truth sounded rather dull ! 

Two or three times Mr. C. looked significantly toward our seat, 
when fearful of being thrown off my guard into a smile, I held 
down my head, from which position I was aroused, when the ser- 
mon was about half over, by some gentleman throwing back the 
door of his pew, and walking out of the chapel. In a few minutes 
after, a second individual did the same ; and soon after a third 
door flew open, and the listener escaped ! At this moment affairs 
looked so very ominous, that we were almost afraid Mr. Jardine 
himself would fly, and that none but ourselves would fairly sit it out. 

A little before, I had been in company with the late Robert 
Hall, and S. T. Coleridge, when the collision of equal minds 
elicited licrht and heat ; both of them rankinor in the first class of 
conversationalists, but great indeed was the contrast between 
them in the pulpit. The parlor was the element for Mr. Cole- 
ridge, and the politician's lecture, rather than the minister's ha- 
rangue. We all returned to Bristol with the feeling of disap- 
♦ A law just then passed. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 



pointment ; — Mr. 0. from the little personal attention paid to him 
from Mr. Jardine ; and we, from a dissatisfying sense of a Sunday 
desecrated. Although no doubt can be entertained of Mr. Cole- 
ridge having, in the journey before noticed, surpassed his first 
essay, yet, with every reasonable allowance, the conviction was so 
strong on my mind that Mr. C. had mistaken his talent, that my 
regard for him was too genuine to entertain the wish of ever 
again seeing him in a pulpit. 

It is unknown when the following letter was received, (although 
quite certain that it was not the evening in which Mr. Coleridge 
wrote his " Ode to the Departing Year,") and it is printed in this 
place at something of an uncertainty.^' 

*' January 1st. 
My dear Cottle, 

I have been forced to disappoint not only you, but Dr. Beddoes, 
on an affair of some importance. Last night I was induced by 
strong and joint soUcitation, to go to a card-club, to which Mr. 
Morgan belongs, and, after the playing was over, to sup, and 
spend the remainder of the night : having made a previous com- 
pact, that I should not drink ; however, just on the verge of twelve, 
I was desired to drink only one wine-glass of punch, in honor 
of the departing year ; and, after twelve, one other in honor of 
the new year. Though the glasses were very small, yet such 
was the effect produced during my sleep, that I awoke unwell, 
and in about twenty minutes after had a relapse of my bilious 
complaint. I am just now recovered, and with care, I doubt not, 
shall be as well as ever to-morrow. If I do not see you then, it 
will be from some relapse, which I have no reason, thank heaven, 
to anticipate. 

Yours affectionately, 

S. T. Coleridge.'' 

In consequence of Mr. Coleridge's journey to the north, to col- 
lect subscribers for the " Watchman," an incident occurred, which 
produced a considerable effect on his after life. During Mr. C.'s 
visit to Birmingham, an accident had introduced him to the eldest 

* Tt is this general absence of the dates to Mr. C.'s letters, which may have 
occasioned me, in one or two instances, to err in the arrangements. 

4 



74 REMINISCENCES OF 

son of Mr. Lloyd, the eminent banker of that town. Mr. Lloyd 
had intended his son Charles to unite with him in the bank, but 
the monotonous business of tlie establishment, ill accorded with 
the young man's taste, which had taken a decidedly literary turn. 
If the object of Charles Lloyd had been to accumulate wealth, 
his disposition might have been gratified to the utmost ; but tiie 
tedious and unintellectual occupation of adjusting pounds, shil- 
lings, and pence, suited, he thought, those alone who had never, 
eagle-like, gazed at the sun, or bathed their temples in the dews 
of Parnassus. The feelings of this young man were ardent ; his 
reading and information extensive ; and his genius, though of a 
peculiar cast, considerable. His mind appeared, however, subject 
to something of that morbid sensibility vrliich distinguished Cow- 
per. The admiration excited in Mr. L. by Mr. Coleridge's pre- 
eminent talents, induced him to relinquisli his connection with the 
bank ; and he had now arrived in Bristol to seek Mr. C. out, and 
to improve his acquaintance with him. 

To enjoy the enviable privilege of Mr. Coleridge's conversation, 
Mr. Lloydf proposed even to domesticate with liim ; and made him 
such a pecuniary offer, that Mr. C. immediately acceded to the 
proposal ; and to effect this, as an essential preliminary, removed 
from Redcliff-hill to a house on Kingsdown. 

In this his new abode, Mr. Coleridge appeared settled and 
comfortable. Friends were kind and numerous. Books, of all 
kinds, were at his command. Of the literary society now found 
in Bristol, he expressed himself in terms of warm approval, and 
thought, in this feature, that it vras surpassed by no city in the 
kingdom. His son Hartley, also, was now born; and no small 
accession to his comfort arose from his vouno- and intellio-ent do- 

o o 

mestic associate, Charles Lloyd. This looked something like per- 
manence ; but the promise was fallacious, for Mr. Coleridge now 
experienced another removal. 

His friend, Mr. Thomas Poole, of Xether Stowev, near Bridsfe- 
water, was desirous of obtaining Mr. C. again, as a permanent 
neighbor, and recommended him to take a small house at Stowey, 
then to b*e let, at seven pounds a year, which he thought would 
well suit him. Mr. Poole's personal worth ; his friendly and social 
manners ; his information, and taste for literature ; all this, com- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 75 

bined with the prospect of a diminished expense in his estabhsh- 
ment unitedly, formed such powerful inducements, that Mr. C. at 
once decided, and the more so, as Mr. Lloyd had consented to ac- 
company him. To this place, consequently, the whole party re- 
paired. 

On Mr. Coleridge reaching his new abode, I was gratified by 
receiving from him the following letter. 

'^Stowey, 1796. 
My dear Cottle, 

We arrived safe. Our house is set to rights. "We are all — 
wife, bratling, and self, remarkably well. Mrs. Coleridge likes 
Stowey, and loves Thomas Poole and his mother, who love her. 
A communication has been made from our orchard into T. Poole's 
garden, and from thence to Cruikshank's, a friend of mine, and a 
young married man, whose wife is very amiable, and she and Sara 
are already on the most cordial terms ; from all this you will 
conclude we are happy. By-the-bye, what a delightful poem is 
Southey's ' Musings on a Landscape of Gaspar Poussin.' I love 
it almost better than his ' Hymn to the Penates.' In his volume 
of poems. The following, namely, 

' The Six Sonnets on the Slave Trade. — The Ode to the Genius of Africa. 
— To my own Miniature Picture. — The Eight Inscriptions.— EHnor, Botany- 
bay Eclogue.— Frederick, ditto.— The Ten Sonnets, (pp. 107—116.) On 
the death of an Old Spaniel.— The Soldier's Wife, Dactylics.— The Widow, 
Sapphics. — The Chapel Bell. — The Race of Banco. Rudiger.' 

All these Poems are v/ orthy the Author of ' Joan of Arc' And 

* The Musings on a Landscape,' ^c. and 
' The Hymn to the Penates,' 

deserve to have been published after ' Joan of Arc,' as proofs of 
progressive genius. 

God bless you, 

S. T. C." 

The accoimt of Mr. Coleridge's residence at Stowey, lies in the 
department of another ; although he occasionally visited Bristol, 
with Mrs. C, as engagements or inclination prompted ; some no- 
tice of which visits will here be taken. 



76 REMINISCENCES OF 



Mr. Charles Lloyd was subject to fits, to one of which the 
second following- letter refers. In the above letter Mr. C. pro- 
nounces himself happy, but as no condition, in this changeable 
world, is either perfect happiness or misery, so the succeeding 
letter presents Mr. C. overpowered almost, with a feeling of 
despondency ! The calculation of the course which genius, com- 
bined with eccentricity, would be likely to pursue, must be at- 
tended with uncertainty, but the probability is, that had Mr. C.'s 
mind been easy at this time, surrounded by domestic quiet and 
comparative seclusion, he might have been equal to any intel- 
lectual achievement ; but soon after he settled at Stowey, he 
was reduced to the most prostrate state of depression, arising 
purely from the darkness of his pecuniary horizon. Happily for 
the reader, a brief mental respite succeeded, in which, if trouble 
existed, the letter which expressed that trouble, soon exhibits him 
(half forgetful) expatiating in those comprehensive surveys of pos- 
sible excellence which formed the habit of his mind. 

"Stowey, 1796. 
My dearest Cottle, 

I love and respect you as a brother, and my memory deceives 
me wofully. if I have not evidenced, by the animated tone of my 
conversation when we have been tete a tete, how much your con- 
versation interested me. But when last in Bristol, the day I 
meant to devote to you, was such a day of sadness, I could do 
nothing. On the Saturday, the Sunday, and ten days after my 
arrival at Stowey, I felt a depi'ession too dreadful to be described. 

So much I felt my genial spirits droop, 

My hopes all flat ; Nature within me seemed 

In all her functions, v/eary of herself. 

Wordsworth's^ conversation aroused me somew^hat, but even 

now I am not the man I have been, and I think I never shall. A 

sort of calm hopelessness diffuses itself over my heart. Indeed 

every mode of life which has promised me bread and cheese, has 

been, one after another, torn away from me, but God remains. I 

have no immediate pecuniary distress, having received ten pounds 

* Mr. Wordsworth, at this time, resided at Allfoxden House, two or three 
miles from Stowey. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 77 

from Lloyd. I employ myself now on a book of morals in answer 
to Godwin, and on my tragedy. 

^ :f: -^ %V ^ % % -/r 

There are some poets who write too much at their ease, from 
the facility with which they please themselves. They do not 
often enough 

' Feel their burdened breast 
Heaving beneath incumbent Deity.' 

So that to posterity their wreaths v/ill look imseemly. Here, 
perhaps, an everlasting Amaranth, and close by its side, some 
weed of an hour, sere, yellow, and shapeless. Their very beau- 
ties will lose half their effect, from the bad company they keep. 
They rely too much on story and event, to the neglect of those 
lofty imaginings that are peculiar to, and definite of the Poet. 

The story of Milton might be told in two pages. It is this 
which distinguishes an epic poem from a romance in metre. Ob- 
serve the march of Milton ; his severe application ; his laborious 
polish ; his deep metaphysical researches ; his prayer to God be- 
fore he began his great work ; all that could lift and swell his 
intellect, became his daily food. 

I should not think of devoting less than twenty years to an 
epic poem, ten years to collect materials and Avarm my mind with 
universal science. I would be a tolerable Mathematician. I 
would thoroughly understand Mechanics ; Hydrostatics ; Optics, 
and Astronomy ; Botany ; Metallurgy ; Fossilism ; Chemistry ; 
Geology ; Anatomy ; Medicine ; then the mind of man ; then the 
minds of men, in all Travels, Voyages, and Histories. So I would 
spend ten years ; the next five in the composition of the poem, 
and the five last in the correction of it. So would I write, haply 
not unhearing of that divine and nightly-whispering voice, which 
speaks to mighty minds, of predestinated garlands, starry and 
unwithering.^ 

God love you. S. T. Coleridge. 

P. S. David Hartley is Avell and grows. Sara is well, and de- 
sires a sister's love to you." 

* How much is it to be deplored, that one whose views were so enlarged as 
those of Mr. Coleridge, and his conceptions so Miltonic, should have been sat- 



78 REMINISCENCES OF 



In tlie spirit of impartiality, it now devolves on me to state a 
temporary misunderstanding between even the two Pantisocra- 
tans, Mr. Coleiidge and Mr. Southey ! The affair occurred in the 
autumn of 1795, but it could not be noticed at that time, without 
interrupting the narrative. 

It is difficult to assign any other reason for the wild scheme of 
Pantisocracy, than the inexperience of youth, acting on sanguine 
ima<^»-inations. At its first announcement, every reflecting mind 
saw that the plan, in its nature, and in the agents who vrere to 
carry it into effect, was liable to insurmountable objections ; but 
the individuals with whom the design originated, were young, ar- 
dent, and enthusiastic, and at that time entertained views of soci- 
ety erroneous in themselves, and which experience alone could 
correct. The fullest conviction v^as entertained by their fiiends, 
that as reason established itself in their minds, the delusion would 
vanish, and they themselves soon smile at extravagances which 
none but their own ingenious order of minds could have devised ; 
but when the dissension occurred, before noticed, at Chepstow, 
Mr. Southey must have had conviction flashed on his mind, that 
the habits of himself and his friend w^ere so essentially opposed, 
as to render harmony and success impossible. 

Mr. Southey now informed Mr. Coleridge, that circumstances, 
and his own views had so altered, as to render it necessary for 
him candidly to state that he must abandon Pantisocracy, arid the 
whole scheme of colonizing in America ; and that he should ac- 
cept an invitation from his uncle, to accompany him through 
Spain to Lisbon. The reader has had cause to believe that Mr. 
C. himself had relinquished this wild plan, but it was by implica- 
tion, rather than by direct avowal. Perhaps, in the frustration of 
so many of his present designs, a latent thought might linger in 
his mind, that America, after all, was to be the fostering asylum, 
where alone, unmingled felicity was to be found. The belief is 
hardly admissible, and yet the admission, extravagant as it is, de- 
rives some support from the unexpected effect produced on him 
by the disclosure of his friend. 

isfied with theorizing merely ; and that he did not, like his great prototype, 
concentrate all his energies, so as to produce some one august poetical work, 
which should become the glory of his country. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHED. 79 



On this announcement, or soon after, a tumult of fearful in- 
tensity arose in Mr. Coleridge's mind, which filled the whole 
circle of their friends vrith grief and dismay. This unexpected 
effect, perhaps, may be ascribed to the consciousness, now first 
• seiiously avvakened, of the erroneous principles on v/hich all his 
calculations had been founded. He perceived at length (it may 
be) that he had been pursuing a phantom ; and the conviction 
must have been associated with self-upbraidings. It is commonly 
found, that the man who is dissatisfied with himself, is seldom 
satisfied long v/ith those around him ; and these compound and 
accumulated feelings must necessarily be directed against some 
object. At this brain-crazing moment, the safety-valve of feeling 
was Mr. Southey. 

Being familiar with the v/hole affair, I completely justified Mr. 
S. as having acted with the strictest honor and propriety, and in 
such a way as any wise man, under such circumstances, vv^ould 
have acted. The great surprise witii their friends was, that the 
crisis should not have occurred earlier, as a result certain to take 
place, and delayed alone by the vivid succession of objects that 
gave, it must be said, a temporary suspension to the full exercise 
of their understandings. Justice to Mr. S. requires it to bo 
stated, that he acted purely on the defensive ; adopting no 
epithets, and repelling offensive accusations and expressions, with 
sober argument and remonstrance alone. I spoke to each in suc- 
cession, and labored to procure a reconciliation; but oil and v/ater 
would sooner have united than the accuser and the accused. 

This difference occurred only two or three days before Mr. S. 
set off on his Spanish and Portuguese expedition. During his 
absence, the fire lay smouldering, and on his return to England, 
in May, 1796, the conflagration was renewed. Charges of "de- 
sertion," flew thick around ; of ** dishonorable retraction, in a 
compact the most binding." I again spoke to Mr. Coleridge, and 
endeavored to soften his asperity. I also wrote to Mr. Southey, 
and expressed a hope, that if he found it impossible at the present 
moment to return to cordiality, he would at least consent when he 
met Mr. Coleridge, to restrain the indignant look, which was 
painfully manifest on both countenances. 

The most pleasant part of the narrative will now be unfolded. 



80 REMINISCENCES OF 



Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Southey met at the house of a relation, 
when, without explanation, the relentings of nature threw them 
silently into each other's arms ! I knew nothing of this happy 
reconciliation, the tirst intimation of Avhich was their calling on 
me, arm in arm, after having taken a pleasant walk together into 
the country. Each seemed to relish the surprise and the delight 
which it was impossible for me to conceal ; and I had reason 
afterwards to think, that this sprightly scene was a preconcerted 
arrangement to heighten the stage-et!ect. I shall now withdraw 
the reader's attention from Mr. Southey, and proceed with the 
narrative of Mr. Coleridge. 

When Mr. Southey departed for the continent, Mr. Coleridge 
repaired to his own calm retreat at Stowey, from which place he 
sent me the following letter. 

"Stowey, 1796. 
Dear Cottle, 

I write under great agony of mind, Charles Lloyd being very 
ill. He has been seized with his fits three times in the space of 
seven days : and just as 1 was in bed last night, I was called up 
again ; and from twelve o'clock at night, to five this morning, he 
remained in one continued state of agonized delirium. What 
with bodily toil, exerted in repressing his frantic struggles, and 
what with the feelings of agony for his sufferings, you may sup- 
pose that I have forced myself from bed, with aching temples, 
and a feeble frame. '•'' ^ '^' 

We offer petitions, not as supposing w^e influence the Immu- 
table ; but because to petition the Supreme Being, is tlie way 
most suited to our nature, to stir up the benevolent affections in 
our hearts. Christ positively commands it, and in St. Paul you 
Avill find unnumbered instances of prayer for indi\ idual blessings ; 
for kings, rulers, (fee, (fee. We indeed should all join to our peti- 
tions : ' But tliy will be done, Omniscient, All-loving, Immortal 
God!' 

Believe me to have towards you, the inward and spiritual grat- 
itude and affection, though I am not always an adept in the 
outward and visible signs. 

God bless you, S. T. C." 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 81 



A letter written by Mr. Coleridge to Miss Cruikshanks, living 
near Stowey during Mr. C.'s residence at that place, exhibits the 
law of association in a new light ; and shows the facility with 
which ingenious men can furnish excuses, at all times, for doing 
that which they desire. 

" Dear Mary, 

I wandered on so thought-beAvildered, that it is no wonder 1 
became way-bewildered ; hoAvever, seeing a road-post, in two 
places, with the name, * Stowey ;' one by some water and a stone- 
bridge, and another on a tree, at the top of the ascent, I con- 
cluded I was only gone a new way, when coming to a place 
where four roads met, I turned to my left, merely because I saw 
some houses, and found myself at Plansfield. Accordingly, I 
turned upward, and as I knew I must pay a farewell visit to 
Ashhalt, I dined Avith the B — s, and arrived at Stowey, just be- 
fore dark. 

I did not lose my way then, though I confess that Mr. B. and 
myself, disobedient to the voice of the ladies, had contrived to 
finish two bottles of port between us, to which I added two 
glasses of mead. All this was in consequence of conversing 
about John Cruikshanks' coming down. IN'ow John Cruikshanks' 
idea being regularly associated in Mr. B.'s mind, with a second 
bottle, and S. T. C. being associated with John Cruikshanks, the 
second bottle became associated with the idea, and afterwards 
with the body of S. T. C. by necessity of metaphysical law, as 
you may see in the annexed figure, or diagram. 

Second Bottle. f^ B 




J. C. / \ S. T. C. 



God bless you, S. T. C." 

Miss Cruikshanks has favored me with a letter of Mr. Coleridge 
to herself, explanatory of his political principles, when he had 



82 REMINISCENCES OF 



receded in a good measure from the sentiments pervading his 
" Conciones ad Populum." This letter was written at a later 
period, but is made to follow the preceding, to preserve a con- 
tinuity of subject. 

Miss C, it appears, had lent the first edition of Mr. Coleridge's 
poems to Lady Elizabeth Perceval,"'^ in some parts of which 
volume the sentiments of an earlier day were rather too promi- 
nently displayed. To counteract the effect such parts were cal- 
culated to produce, Mr. Coleridge wrote the following letter, in the 
hope that by being shovv^n to her ladyship, it might efface from 
her mind any unfavorable impression she might have received. 
In this letter he also rather tenderly refers to his American 
scheme. 

(jSTo date, supposed to be 1803.) 
" My dear Miss Cruikshanks, 

With the kindest intentions, I fear you have done me some 
little disservice, in borrowing the first edition of my poems from 
Miss B . I never held any principles indeed, of which, con- 
sidering my age, I have reason to be ashamed. The whole of 
my public life may be comprised in eight or nine months of my 
22nd year ; and the whole of my political sins during that time, 
consisted in forming a plan of taking a large farm in common, in 
America, Avith other young men of my age. A wild notion indeed, 
but very harmless. 

As to my principles, they were, at all times, decidedly anti- 
jacobin and anti-revolutionary, and my American scheme is a 
proof of this. Indeed at that time, I seriously held the doctrine 
of passive obedience, though a violent enemy of the first war. 
Afterwards, and for the last ten years of my life, I have been 
fighting incessantly in the good cause, against French ambition, 
and French principles ; and I had Mr. Addington's suffrage, as to 
the good produced by my Essays, written in the Morning Post, 
in the interval of the peace of Amiens, and the second war, to- 
gether with my two letters to Mr. Fox.f 

* Sister of the Premier. 

f It appears from Sir .Tames Macintosh's Life, pubhshed by his son, that a 
diminution of respect towards Sir James was entertained by Mr. Fox, arising 
from the above two letters of Mr. Coleridge, which appeared in the Morning 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 83 

Of my former errors, I should be no more ashamed, than of 
my change of body, natural to increase of age ; but in that first 
edition, there was inserted (without my consent !) a Sonnet to 
Lord Stanhope, in direct contradiction, equally, to my then, as to 
my present principles. A Sonnet written by me in ridicule and 
mockery of the bloated style of French Jacobinical declamation, 
and inserted by Briggs, (the fool of a printer,) in order, forsooth, 
that he might send the book, and a letter to Earl Stanhope ; who, 
to prove that he was not mad in all things, treated both book 
and letter with silent contempt."^ I have therefore sent Mr. 
Poole's second edition, and if it be in your power, I could wish 
you to read the ' dedication to my brother,' at the beginning, to 
Lady E. Perceval, to obtain whose esteem, so far at least as not 
to be confounded with the herd of vulgar mob flatterers, I am 
not ashamed to confess myself solicitous. 

I would I could be with you and your visitors. Penelope, you 
know, is very high in my esteem. With true warmth of heart, 

Post. Some enemy of Sir James Iipcd informed Mr, Fox that these two letters 
were written by Macintosh, and which exceedingly wounded his mind. Be- 
fore the error could be corrected, Mr. Fox died. This occurrence was deplored 
by Sir James, in a way that showed his deep feeling of regret, but which, as 
might be supposed, did not prevent him from bearing the amplest testimony to 
the social worth and surpassing talents of that great statesman. 

Mr. Coleridge's Bristol friends will remember that once Mr. Fox was idolized 
by him as the paragon of political excellence ; and Mr. Pitt depressed in the 
same proportion. 

* The following is the Sonnet to Lord Stanhope, in the first edition, now 
omitted : 

" Not Stanhope ! with the patriot's doubtful name 
I mock thy worth, friend of the human race ! 
Since, scorning faction's low and partial aim, 
Aloof thou wendest in thy stately pace. 
Thyself redeeming from that leprous stain — 
Nobility ! and, aye, unterrified, 
Pourest thy Abdiel warnings on the train 
That sit complotting with rebellious pride 
'Gainst her, who from th' Almighty's bosom leapt, 
With whirlwind arm, fierce minister of love ! 
Wherefore, ere virtue o'er thy tomb hath wept, 
Angels shall lead thee to the throne above. 
And thou from forth its clouds shall hear the voice- 
Champion of freedom, and her God, rejoice !" 



84 REMINISCENCES OF 



she joins more strength of understanding ; and, to steady prin- 
ciple, more variety of accomplishments, than it has often been my 
lot to meet with among the fairer sex. When I praise one woman 
to another I always mean a compliment to both. My tenderest 
regards to your dear mother, whom I really long to spend a few 
hours with, and believe me with sincere good wishes. 

Yours, &c., 

S. T. Coleridge.'' 

Fragment of a Theological letter of Air. Coleridge, date un- 
known. 

* -V' ^ xhe declaration that the Deity is "the sole Operant" 
(Religious Musings) is indeed far too bold ; may easily be mis- 
construed into Spinosism ; and, therefore, though it is susceptible 
of a pious and justifiable interpretation, I should by no means now 
use such a phrase. I was very young when I wrote that poem, 
and my religious feelings were more settled than my theological 
notions. 

As to eternal punishments, 1 can only say, that there are many 
passages in Scripture, and these not metaphorical, which declare 
that all flesh shall be finally saved ; that the word aionios is in- 
deed used sometimes when eternity must be meant, but so is the 
word 'Ancient of Days,' yet it would be strange reasoning to af- 
firm, that therefore, the word ancient must always mean eternal. 
The literal meanino- of ' aionios' is ' throuo-h ao:es ;' that is indefi- 
nite ; beyond the power of imagination to bound. But as to the 
effects of such a doctrine, I say. First, — that it would be more 
pious to assert nothing concerning it, one Avay or the other. 

Ezra says well, ' My Son, meditate on the rewards of the right- 
eous, and examine not over-curiously into the fate of the wicked.' 
(This apocryphal Ezra is supposed to have been written by some 
Christian in the first age of Christianity. Second, — that however 
the doctrine is now broached, and publicly preached by a large and 
increasing sect, it is no longer possible to conceal it from such per- 
sons as would be likely to read and understand the ' Religious Mus- 
ings.' Third, — That if the offers of eternal blessedness ; if the love 
of God ; if gratitude ; if the fear of punishment unknown indeed as 
to its kind and duration, but declared to be unimaginably great ; 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 85 



if the possibility, nay, the probability, that this punishment may 
be followed by annihilation, not final happiness, cannot divert men 
from wickedness to virtue ; I fear there will be no charm in the 
word Eternal. 

Fourth, that it is a certain fact, that scarcely any believe eter- 
nal punishment practically with relation to themselves. They all 
hope in God's mercy, till they make it a presumptuous watch- 
word for religious indifference. And this, because there is no me- 
dium in their faith, between blessedness and misery, — infinite in 
degree and duration ; w^iich latter they do not practically, and 
with their whole hearts, believe. It is opposite to their clearest 
views of the divine attributes ; for God cannot be vindictive, nei- 
ther therefore can his punishments be founded on a vindictive 
principle. They must be, either for amendment, or warning for 
others ; but eternal punishment precludes the idea of amendment, 
and its infliction, after the day of judgment, when all not so pun- 
ished shall be divinely secured from the possibility of falling, ren- 
ders the notion of warning to others inapplicable. 

The Catholics are far more afraid of, and incomparably more in- 
fluenced in their conduct by, the doctrine of purgatory, than Prot- 
estants by that of hell ! That the Catholics practise more super- 
stitions than morals, is the effect of other doctrines. Supereroga- 
tion ; invocation of saints ; power of relics, &c., &c., and not of 
Purgatory, which can only act as a general motive, to what must 
depend on other causes. 

Fifth, and lastly. — It is a perilous state in which a christian 
stands, if he has gotten no further than to avoid evil from the fear 
of hell ! This is no part of the christian religion, but a preparatory 
awakening of the soul : a means of dispersing those gross films 
which render the eye of the spirit incapable of any religion, much 
less of such a faith as that of the love of Christ. 

Tfie fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but perfect 
love shutteth out fear. It is sufficient for the utmost fervor of 
gratitude that we are saved from punishments, too great to be 
conceived ; but our salvation is surely not complete, till by the 
illumination from above, we are made to know ' the exceeding sin- 
fulness of sin,' and that horribleness in its nature, w^hich, while it 
involves all these frightful consequences, is yet, of itself, more af- 



86 REMINISCENCES OF 



frightful to a regenerated soul than those consequences. To him 
who but for a moment felt the influence of God's presence, the 
thought of eternal exclusion from the sense of that presence, 
would .be the worst hell his imagination could conceive. 

N. B. I admit of no right, no claim of a creature on its Cre- 
ator. I speak only of hopes and of faith deduced from inevitable 
reason, the gift of the Creator ; from his acknowledged attributes. 
Above all, immortality is a free gift, which we neither do, nor can 
deserve. ^^- ^ * S. T. C' 

To descend now to humbler thuigs. 

There are persons who wilLbe interested in learning how the 
bard and his bookseller managed their great pecuniary affairs. A 
second edition of Mr. Coleridge's poems being demanded, I was 
under no obligation, the copy-right being mine, in publishing a 
second edition, to make Mr. Coleridge any payment, alterations or 
additions being optional with him : but in his circumstances, and 
to show that my desire was to consider Mr. C. even more than 
myself, I promised him, on the sale of the second edition of 500, 
twenty guineas. The following was his reply : (not viewing the 
subject quite in the right light ; but this w^as of little conse- 
quence.) 

"Stowey, Oct. 18th, 1796. 
My dear Cottle, 

I have no mercenary feelings, I verily believe ; but I hate bar- 
tering at any time, and with any person ; with you it is absolutely 
intolerable. I clearly perceive that by giving me tw^enty guineas, 
on the sale of the second edition, you will get little or nothing by 
the additional poems, vmless they should be sufficiently popular to 
reach a third edition, which soars above our wildest expectations. 
The only advantage you can derive therefore from the purchase 
of them on such terms, is, simply, that my poetry is more likely 
to sell when the whole may be had in one volume, price 5s., than 
when it is scattered in two volumes ; the one 4s., the other possi- 
bly 8s. In short, you will get nothing directly, but only indi- 
rectly, from the probable circumstance, that these additional poems 
added to the former, will give a more rapid sale to the second 
edition than could otherwise be expected, and cause it .possibly 



I 
S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 87 



to be reviewed at large. Add to this, that by omitting every 
thing pohtical, I widen the sphere of my readers. So much for 
you. Now for myself. You must see, Cottle, that whatever 
money I should receive from you, would result from the circum- 
stances that would give me the same, or more — if I published 
them on my own account. I mean the sale of the poems. I can 
therefore have no motive to make such conditions with you, ex- 
cept the wish to omit poems unworthy of me, and the circum- 
stance that our separate properties would aid each other by the 
union ; and whatever advantage this might be to me, it would, of 
course, be equally so to you. The only difference between my 
publishing the poems on my own account, and yielding them up 
to you ; the only difference I say, independent of the above stated 
differences, is, that, in one case, I retain the property for ever, in 
the other case, I lose it after two editions. 

However, I am not solicitous to have anything omitted, except 
the sonnet to Lord Stanhope and the ludicrous poem; I should 
like to publish the best pieces together, and those of secondary 
splendor, at the end of the volume, and think this is the best 
quietus of the whole affair. 

Yours affectionately, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

In consequence of a note received from Mr. Coleridge, I called 
at the. Bristol Library, where I found Mr. George Catcott, the 
Sub-Librarian, much excited. " See," said he, immediately I en- 
tered the room, " here is a letter I have just received from Mr. 
Coleridge. Pray look at it." I read it. " Do you mean to give 
the letter to me, with its ponderous contents ?" I said. *' O yes, 
take it," he replied. This gift enables me to lay the letter in 
question before the reader. Mr. George Catcott, though of singu- 
lar manners, was a person of worth. He was the patron of Chat- 
terton, and chiefly through his efforts, the Poems of " Rowley" 
were preserved. 

*^Stowey, May, 1797. 
My dear Cottle, 

I have sent a curious letter to George Catcott. He has alto- 
gether made me pay five shillings ! for postage, by his letters sent 



88 REMINISCENCES OF 



all the way to Stowey, requiring me to return books to the Bris- 
tol Library. ^ ^^ "* ^ 

*' Mr. Catcott, 

I beg your acceptance of all the inclosed letters. You must 
not think lightly of the present, as they cost me, who am a very 
poor man, five shillings. 

With respect to the ' Bruck. Hist. Crit.' although by accident 
they were registered on the 23d of March, yet they were not re- 
moved from the Library for a fortnight after ; and when I received 
your first letter, I had had the books just three weeks. Our 
learned and ingenious Committee may read through two quartos, 
that is, one thousand and four hundred pages of close printed 
Latin and Greek, in three weeks, for aught I know to the con- 
trary. I pretend to no such intenseness of application, or rapidity 
of genius. 

I must beg you to inform me, by Mr. Cottle, what length of 
time is allowed by the rules and customs of our institution for 
each book. Whether their contents, as well as their size, are con- 
sulted in apportioning the time ; or whether, customarily, any 
time at all is apportioned, except when the Committee, in indi- 
vidual cases, choose to deem it proper. I subscribe to your 
library, Mr. Catcott, not to read novels, or books of quick reading 
and easy digestion, but to get books which I cannot get else- 
where, — books of massy knowledge ; and as I have few books of 
my own, I read with a commonplace book, so that if I be not al- 
lowed a longer period of time for the perusal of such books, I 
must contrive to get rid of my subscription, which would be a 
thing perfectly useless, except so far as it gives me an opportu- 
nity of reading your little expensive notes and letters. 

Yours in christian fellowship, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

Mr. C. was now preparing for a second edition of his Poems, 
and had sent the order in w^hich they were to be printed, with the 
following letter, accompanying two new Poems. 

" Stowey, Friday Morning. 
My dear Cottle, 

* ^' '^ If you do not like the following verses, or if you do 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 



89 



not think them Avorthy of an edition in which I profess to give 
nothing but my choicest fish, picked, gutted, and cleaned, please 
to get some one to vrrite them out and send them, with my com- 
pliments, to the editor of the I^ew Monthly Magazine. But if 
you think of them as I do (most probably from parental dotage 
for my last born) let them immediately follow * The Kiss.' 

God love you, 

s. T. cr 

TO AN UNFORTUNATE YOUNG WOMAN, • 

WHOM I HAD KNOWN IN THE DAYS OF HHR INNOCENCE, 

Maiden ! that with sullen brow, 

Sitt'st behind those virgins gay; 

Like a scorched, and mildew'd bough. 

Leafless mid the blooms of May. 

Inly gnawing, thy distresses 

Mock those starts of v/anton glee; 
And thy inmost soul confesses 

Chaste Affection's majesty. 

Loathing thy polluted lot, 

Hie thee, Maiden ! hie thee hence : 
Seek thy weeping mother's cot, 

With a wiser innocence ! 

Mute the Lavrac* and forlorn 

While she moults those firstUng plumes 
That had skimm'd the tender corn, 

Or the bean-field's od'rous blooms ; 

Soon with renovating wing, 

Shall she dare a loftier flight, 
Upwards to the day-star sing, 

And embathe in heavenly li<iht. 



# 



ALLEGORICAL LINES ON THE SAME SUBJECT. 

Myrtle Leaf, that, ill besped. 

Finest in the gladsome ray. 
Soiled beneath the common tread, 

Far from thy protecting spray ; 

When the scythesman o'er his sheaf, 
Caroll'd in the yellow vale. 



* The Skylark. 



90 



REMINISCENCES OF 



Slid, I saw thee, heedless leaf, 
Love the dalliance of the gale. 

' • Lightly didst tliou, poor fond thing ! 

Heave and flutter to his sighs 
While the flatterer on his wing, 
Woo'd, and whisper'd thee to rise. 

Gayly from thy mother stalk 

Wert thou danced and wafted high ; 
Soon on this unsheltered walk, 
^ Flung to fade, and rot, and die ! 

The two poems as printed in Mr. Coleridge's edition of 1885, 
here follow, which by being compared with the same poems, in 
their preceding original form, wdll exhibit a study, particularly to 
the Poet.^^ 



ON AN UNFORTUNATE WOMAN AT THE THEATRE. 

With Mr. Coleridge^ s last corrcdioiis. 

Maiden, that with sullen brow 

Sitt'st behind those virgins gay, 
Like a scorched and mildew' d bough, 

Leafless mid the blooms of May. 

Him who lured thee and forsook, 

Oft I watch' d with angry gaze, 
Fearful saw his pleading look. 

Anxious heard his fervid phrase. 

Soft the glances of the youth. 

Soft his speech, and soft his sigh ; 
But no sound like simple truth, 

But no true love in his eye. 

Loathing thy polluted lot. 

Hie thee, maiden, hie thee hence ! 
Seek thy weeping mother's cot, 

With a wiser innocence. 

Thou hast known deceit and folly. 
Thou hast felt that vice is woe ; 




* It is to be regretted that Mr. C. in his emendations, should have excluded 
from the second verse of the first poem, the two best lines in the piece. 

'' And thy inmost soul confesses 
Chaste Aflection's majesty.'' 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTH EY. 91 



With a musing melancholy, 
Inly armed, go, maiden ! go. 

Mother, sage of self-dominion. 

Firm thy steps, O melancholy ! 
The strongest plume in wisdom's pinion 

Is the memory of past folly. 

Mute the sky-lark and forlorn 

While she moults the firstling plumes. 

That had skimm'd the tender corn, 
Or the bean-field- s odorous blooms. 

Soon with renovated wing. 

Shall she dare a loftier flight. 
Upward to the day-star spring, 

And embathe in heavenly light. 

ON AN UNFORTUNATE WOMAN, 

WHOM THE AUHHOR HAD KNOWN IN THE DAYS OP HER INNOCENCE. 

( With Mr. Coleridge^s last corrections.) 

Myrtle-leaf that ill-besped, 

Finest in the gladsome ray ; 
Soiled beneath the common tread, 

Far from thy protecting spray ! 

When the partridge o'er the sheaf 

Whirred along the yellow vale. 
Sad I saw thee, heedless leaf! 

Love the dalliance of the gale. 

Lightly didst thou, foolish thing ! 

Heave and flutter to his sighs, 
While the flatterer on his wing, 

Woo'd and whispered thee to rise. 

Gayly from thy mother stalk 

Wert thou danced and wafted high — 
Soon upon this sheltered walk. 

Flung to fa.de, to rot, and die. 

Mr. Coleridge ha\ing requested me to decide concerning the 
introduction into his vohime of the two preceding Poems, I ap- 
proved of the second, with certain alterations, (which was ac- 
cordingly printed,) and rejected the first, for the reasons assigned 
in the following letter. This letter is introduced for the sake of 
Mr. C.'s reply, and to exhibit the candid and untenacious quality 



9-2 REMINISCENCES OF 



of liis mind. As a mark of Mr. Coleridge's solicitude to obtain 
the observations of another, without surrendering his own ulti- 
mate judgment, he always encouraged my remarks on his compo- 
sitions. When about to send the second edition of his Poems to 
the press, he thus wrote to me. 

" My dear Cottle, 

^: '!: * Qj^ Thursday morning, by Milton, the Stowey car- 
rier, I shall send you a parcel, containing the book of my Poems 
interleaved, with the alterations, and likewise the prefaces, w^hich 
I shall send to you for your criticisms." '^ ^ ^' 

This is mentioned as an apology for the freedom of the remarks 
I then took, for it w^as always my principle not to spare a friend 
through mistaken kindness ; — however much I might spare my- 
self. 

" Dear Coleridge, 

You have refeiTed your two last Poems to my judgment. I 
do not think your first, ' Maiden ! that with sullen brow,' admis- 
sible, without a little more of your nice picking. 

The first verse is happy, but two objections apply to the sec- 
ond. To my ear, (perhaps too fastidious,) ' inl}^,' and 'inmost,' 
are too closely allied for the same stanza ; but the first line pre- 
sents a more serious objection, in containing a transition verb, (or 
rather a participle, with the same government,) without an ob- 
jective : 

' Inly gnawing, thy distresses 
Mock those starts of sudden glee.' 

Gnawing wliat ? surely not distresses ; though the bar of a comma 
can hardly keep them apart. In order to give it any decent 
meaning, a tortuous ellipsis is necessary ; to pursue w^hich, gives 
the reader too much toil. Rejecting the first horse in the team, 
the three last are beautiful animals. 

To the last line in the third stanza, I rather object ; ' With a 
wiser innocence.' The meaning, it appears to me, would be more 
definite and in character, if you were to say, as you do not repre- 
sent her utterly debased, ' With thy wreck of innocence.' The 
apostrophe to the ' Weeping mother's cot,' is then impressive. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 93 

In the fourth stanza, why do you introduce the old word 
'Lavrac,' a word requiring an explanatory note ? Why not say 
at once, sky-lark ? A short poem, you know better than /, should 
be smooth as oil, and lucid as glass. The two last stanzas, with 
their associates, will require a few of your delicate touches, be- 
fore you mount them on the nautilus which is to bear them buoy- 
ant round the world. These two last stanzas, about the ' Lavrac,' 
though good in themselves, (with the exception of one line, which 
I will not point out, its roughness absolutely reminds one of 
*■ Bowling-green Lane !') appear to me to be awkward appendages. 
The illustration is too much extended. It is labored ; far-fetched. 
It is an infelicitous attempt to blend sportive fancy with fact that 
has touched the heart, and which, in this its sobered mood, shrinks 
from all idle play of imagination. The transition is too abrupt 
from truth to fancy. This simile of two stanzas, also, out of five, 
is a tail disproportioned to the size of so small a body : — A thought 
elongated, ramified, attenuated, till its tendril convolutions have 
almost escaped from their parent stem. I would recommend you 
to let this Lavrac fly clean away, and to conclude the Poem with 
the third affecting stanza, unless you can continue the same train 
of feeling. This you might readily effect, by urging the ' unfor- 
tunate,' in seeking her ' weeping mother's cot,' to cheer that 
mother by moral renovation. 

I now come to the second Poem, ' Allegorical lines.' This 
Poem has sound materials, but it wants some of your hard tinker- 
ing. Pardon my unceremonious language. I do not like that 
affected old word, 'ill-besped,' in the first line. To ascribe hu- 
man feelings to a leaf, as you have done through the whole Poem, 
notwithstanding your authority, as I conceive, offensively violates 
reason. There is no analogy ; no conceivable bond of union be- 
tween thought and inanimate things ; and it is about as rational as 
though, in sober reasoning, you were to make the polished shoe 
remonstrate with its wearer, in being soiled so soon after it had 
received its lustre. It is the utmost stretch of human concession, 
to grant thought and language to living things ; — birds, beasts, 
and fishes ; rights which the old fablers have rendered inalienable, 
as vehicles of instruction ; but here, as I should think, the liberty 
ends. It is always a pity when sense and poetry cannot go to- 



94 REMINISCENCES OF 



gether. They are excellent arm-in-arm companions, but quarrel- 
some neighbors, when a stile separates them. The first line in 
the second stanza I do not like. 

' When the scythesman o'er his sheaf.' 

Two objections apply to this line. The word scythesman, for a 
short poem, is insufferably rough ; and furthermore requires the 
inhalation of a good breath, before it can be pronounced ; besides 
which, as the second objection, by connecting sheaves with scythes- 
man, it shoAvs that the scythe is cutting wheat, whereas, wheat 
is cut with a hook or sickle. If my agricultural knowledge be 
correct, barley and oats are cut with a scythe, but these grains 
are not put into sheaves. Had you not better substitute rustic, 
for scythesman ? 

The first line in the third stanza is not happy. The spondee, 
in a compound word, sometimes gives a favorable emphasis ; but 
to my taste, rarely, when it is formed of a double epithet. It has 
the appearance of labor, like tugging against a hill. Would not 
' foolish' be simpler and better than ' poor fond ?' 

I have one other objection, and that, unfortunately, is in the 
last line. 

' Flung to fade, and rot, and die !' 

Surely, if it rots, it must die, or have died. 
Query. * Flung to wither and to die.' 

I am astonished at my own temerity. This is reversing the 
order of things ; the pupil correcting his master. But, candidly 
speaking, I do think these two poems the most defective of any 
I ever saw of yours, w^hich, usually, have been remarkably free 
from all angles on which the race of snarlers can lay hold. 

From, &c., &c., 

Joseph Cottle." 

Mr. Coleridge's reply to the preceding letter. 

'* Wednesday morning, 10 o'clock. 
My dearest Cottle, 

Hi % % i Y[\ "besped' is indeed a sad blotch ; but after hav- 
ing tried at least a hundred ways, before I sent the Poem to you, 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 95 

and often since, I find it incurable. This first Poem is but a so-so 
composition. I wonder I could have been so blinded by the ar- 
dor of recent composition, as to see anything in it. 

Your remarks are ijerfectly just on the 'Allegorical lines,' ex- 
cept that, in this district, corn is as often cut with a scythe, as with 
a hook. However, for ' Scytliesman read Rustic. For 'poor 
fond thing y' read foolish thing, and for 'flung to fade, and rot, and 
die,"* read flung to ivither and to die/^' 

Milton (the carrier) waits impatiently. 

S. T. C." 

Having once inquired of Mr. Coleridge something respecting a 
nicety in hexameters, he asked for a sheet of paper, and wrote the 
following. These hexameters appear in the last edition of Mr. 
C.'s Poems, though in a less correct form, and without the con- 
densed and well-expressed preliminary remarks. Tv/o new lines 
are here also added. 

" The Hexameter consists of six feet, or twelve times. These 
feet, in the Latin and Greek languages, were always either dactyls, 
or spondees ; the time of a dactyl, being only that of a spondee. 
In modern languages, however, metre being regulated by the em- 
phasis, or intonation of the syllables, and not by the position of 
the letters, spondees can scarcely exist, except in compound words, 
as dark-red. Our dissyllables are for the most part, either iambics, 
as desire ; or trochees, as languid. These therefore, but chiefly 
the latter, we must admit, instead of spondees. The four first feet 
of each line may be dissyllable feet, or dactyls, or both com- 
mingled, as best suits the melody, and requisite variety ; but the 
two last feet must, with rare exceptions, be uniformly, the former 
a dactyl, the latter a dissyllable. The amphimacer may, in Eng- 
lish, be substituted for the dactyl, occasionally. 

* Mr. C. afterwards requested that the " allegorical lines" might alone be 
printed in his second edition, with this title: "To an Unfortunate Woman, 
whom the Author had known in the days of her innocence." The first Poem, 
'•' Maiden, that with sullen brow," (fee, he meant to re- write, and which he 
will be found to have done, with considerable effect. 



REMINISCENCES OF 



EXAMPLES. 



Oh, what a life is the eye! What a fine and inscrutable essence! 

He that is utterly l)lind, nor glimpses the fire that warms him ; 

He that never beheld the swelling breast of his mother, 

He that smiled at the bosom, the babe that smiles in its slumber. 

Even to him it exists. It moves, and stirs in its prison ; 

Lives with a separate life, and "Is it a spirit?" he murmurs, 

Sure it has thoughts of its own, and to see is only a language. 

ANOTHER SPECIMEN, DESCRIBING HEXAMETERS IN HEXAMETERS. 

Strongly it tilts us along, o'er leaping and limitless billows, 
Nothing before, and nothing behind, but the sky and the ocean. 

ANOTHER SPECIMEN. 

In the Hexameter rises the fountain's silvery column 
In the Pentameter still, falling melodious down. 



THE ENGLISH DUODECASYLLABLE. 



This consists of two dactyls, and three trochees ; the two dac- 
tyls first ; and the trochees following. 

Hear, my beloved ! an old Milesian story ; 

High and embosomed in congregated laurels. 

Glimmered a temple, upon a breezy headland 

In the dim distance, amid the skyey billows. 

Rose a fair island ; the God of flocks had blest it : 

From the dim shores of this bleak resounding island, 

Oft in the moon-light a little boat came floating, 

Came to the sea-cave beneath the breezy headland, 

Where between myrtles a path-way stole in mazes, 

Up to the groves of the high embosomed temple. 

There in a thicket of consecrated roses, 

Oft did a Priestess, as lovely as a vision, 

Pouring her soul to the son of Cytherea, 

Pray him to hover around the light canoe boat, 

And with invisible pilotage to guide it 

Over the dusky waves, till the nightly sailor 

Shiv'ring with ecstacy sank upon her bosom. 

Now, by the immortals ! he was a beauteous stripling, 

Worthy to dream the sweet dream of young Endymion, 

In the last edition of Mr. Coleridge's poems, (3 vols., 1835,) 
there is a poem, called " The Destiny of Nations, a Vision ;" — 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 97 

a sounding title, with which tlie contents but ill accord. No note 
conveys information to the reader, what was the origin of this 
poem ; nor does any argument show its object, or train of thought. 
Who the maid is, no one can tell, and if there be a vision respect- 
ing the destiny of nations, it is nearly as confused and incoherent 
as a true vision of the night ; exciting in the mind some such un- 
defined wonderment, as must have accompanied the descent of 
one of Peter Wilkins' winged Aerials. 

The reader may here be informed, that the Second book of Mr. 
Southey's ''Joan of Arc," to line 452, as acknowledged, was 
written by Mr. Coleridge, with the intermixture of 97 lines, writ- 
ten by Mr. Southey, in which there are noble sentiments, expressed 
in the loftiest poetical diction ; and in which also there is a tute- 
lary spirit introduced to instruct and counsel the Maid of Orleans. 
In the second edition of '' Joan of Arc," Mr, Southey omitted the 
whole of these lines, and intimated to Mr. C. his intention so to 
do, as early as the autumn of 1795. I advised Mr. Coleridge, 
from the intrinsic merit of the lines, to print them in the second 
edition of his poems. To this he assented, but observed, that he 
must greatly extend them. 

Some considerable tnne after, he read me the poem in its en- 
larged state, calling it " The Progress of Liberty, or the Visions 
of the Maid of Orleans." After hearing it read, I at once told 
him, it was all very fine, but what it was all about, I could not 
tell : that it wanted, I thought, an obvious design, a definite pur- 
pose, a cohesion of parts, so as to make it more of a whole, 
instead of its being, as it then was, profuse, but detached splen- 
dor, and exhibiting in the management, nothing like construction. 
Thus improved, I told him the poem would be worthy of him. 
Mr. C. was evidently partial to the lines, and said, '* I shall con- 
sider of what you say, and speak again about them." 

Amongst my papers I find two or three notes from Mr. C. on 
this subject, subsequently received. 

'' Stowey. 
My dear Cottle, 

If you delay the press it will give me the opportunity I so 
much wish, of sending my 'Visions of the Maid of Arc/ to 

5 



98 REMINISCENCES OF 



lace 'M 



Wordsworth, who lives* not above twenty miles from this pla< 
and to Charles Lamb, whose taste and judgment, I see reason to 
think more correct and philosopliical than my own, which yet I 
place pretty high." * ^' '" 

In a succeeding letter Mr. Coleridge says, 

" My dear Cottle, 

The lines which I added to my lines in the * Joan of Arc,' have 
been so little approved by Charles Lamb, to whom I sent them, that 
although I differ from him in opinion, I have not heart to finish 
the poem." Mr. Coleridge in the same letter, thus refers to his 
** Ode to the Departing Year." 

-^ ^t '^ '' So much for an *Ode,' which some people think 
superior to the ' Bard' of Gray, and which others think a rant of 
turgid obscurity ; and the latter are the more numerous class. It 
is not obscure. My ' Religious Musings' I know are, but not this 
* Ode.' " 

Mr. C. still retained a peculiar regard for these lines of the 
*' Visions" and once meant to remodel the whole, as will appear 
from the following letter. 

"Stowey, 1797. 
My dear Cottle, 

I deeply regret, that my anxieties and my slothfulness, acting in 
a combined ratio, prevented me from finishing my * Progress of 
Liberty, or Visions of the Maid of Orleans,' with that poem at 
the head of the volume, with the ' Ode' in the middle, and the 
'Religious Musings' at the end. '^ ^'' '^ 

In the ' Lines on the Man of Ross,' immediately after these 
lines, 

' He heard the widow's heaven-breathed prayer of praise, 
He mark'd the sheltered orphan's tearful gaze.' 

Please to add these two lines. 

' And o'er the portion'd maiden's snowy cheek, 
Bade bridal love suffuse its blushes meek.' 

♦ Mr. Wordsworth Hved at Racedown before he removed to Allfoxden. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 99 

And for the line, 

' Beneath this roof, if thy cheer'd moments pass, 
I should be glad to substitute this, 

' If near this roof thy wine-cheer'd moments pass.' " 
These emendations came too late for admission in the second 
edition ; nor have they appeared in the last edition. They will 
remain therefore for insertion in any future edition of Mr. Cole- 
ridge's Poems.* 

My dear Cottle, '*Stowey, 1797. 

* * * Public affairs are in stranore confusion. I am afraid 
that I shall prove at least as good a Prophet as Bard. Oh, 
doom'd to fall, my country ! enslaved and vile ! But may God 
make me a foreboder of evils never to come ! 

I have heard from Sheridan, desiring me to write a tragedy. I 
have no genius that way ; Robert Southey has. I think highly 
of his ' Joan of Arc,' and cannot help prophesying, that he will 
be known to posterity, as Shakspeare's great grandson. I think 
he will write a tragedy or tragedies. 

Charles Lloyd has given me his Poems, which I give to you, 
on condition that you print them in this Volume, after Charles 
Lamb's Poems ; the title page, ' Poems, by S. T. Coleridge. 
Second Edition ; to which are added Poems, by C. Lamb, and C. 
Lloyd.' C. Lamb's poems will occupy about forty pages ; C. 
Lloyd's at least one hundred, although only his choice fish. 

P. S. I like your ' Lines on Savage. 'f 

God bless you, S. T. Coleridge." 

* Mr. C, after much hesitation, had intended to begin his second edition 
with this Poem, from the " Joan of Arc." in its enlarged, but imperfect state, 
and even sent it to the press ; but the discouraging remarks, which he remem- 
bered, of one and another, at the last moment, shook his resolution, and occa- 
sioned him to withdraw it wholly. He commenced his volume with the " Ode 
to the Departing Year." 

t WRITTEN,(1793,) WITH A PENCIL, ON THE WALL OF THE ROOM IN 
BRISTOL NEWGATE, WHERE SAVAGE DIED. 

Here Savage lingered long, and here expired ! 
The mean — the proud — the censured — the admired ' 

If, wandering o'er misfortune's sad retreat, 
Stranger ! these lines arrest thy passing feet, 



100 REMINISCENCES OF 

In a letter received from Mr. Coleridge soon after, he says, 
shall now stick close to my tragedy, (called Osorio,) and when II 
have finished it, shall walk to Shaftesbury to spend a few days ! 
with Bowles. From thence I go to Salisbury, and thence to 
Christchurch, to see Southey." 

This letter, as was usual, has no date, but a letter from Mr. 
Wordsworth determines about the time when Mr. C. had nearly 

finished his Tragedy. 

• 

'^ September 13, 1797. 

:f: Ht 'i: ^i 

Coleridge is gone over to Bowles with his Tragedy, which he 
has finished to the middle of the 5th Act. He set off a week 
ago." 

Mr. Coleridge, in the summer of 1797, presented me with an 
extract from his " Osorio," which is here given to the reader, from 
Mr. C.'s own writing. 

And recollection urge the deeds of shame 

That tarnish' d once an unblest poet's fame ; 

Judge not another till thyself art free, 

And hear the gentle voice of charity. 
'' No friend received him, and no mother's care 
" Sheltered his infant innocence with prayer; 
" No father's guardian hand his youth maintained, 
" Call'd forth his virtues, or from vice restrain'd." 

Reader ! hadst thou been to neglect consign'd, 

And cast upon the mercy of mankind ; 

Through the w^i.ie world, like Savage, forced to stray, 

And find, like him, one long and stormy day ; 

Objects less noble might thy soul have swayed, 

Or crimes around thee cast a deeper shade. 

While poring o'er another's mad career, 

Drop for thyself the penitential tear ; 

Though priz'd by friends, and nurs'd in innocence. 

How oft has folly wrong'd thy better sense : 

But if some virtues in thy breast there be, 

Ask, if they sprang from circumstance or thee ! 

And ever to thy heart the precept bear, 

When thine own conscience smites, a wayward brother spare ! 

J. C. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 101 

FOSTER-MOTHER'S TALE. 

Scene, Spain. 

FOSTER-MOTHER. 

Now blessings on the man, whoe 'er he be, 

That join'd your names with mine I O my sweet lady, 

As often as I think of those dear times, 

When you two httle ones would stand, at eve, 

On each side of my chair, and make me learn 

All you had learnt in the day, and how to talk 

In gentle phrase, then bid me sing to you — 

'Tis more like heaven to come than what kas been. 



O my dear mother ! this strange man has left us, 
Troubled with wilder fancies than the moon 
Breeds in the love-sick maid who gazes at it, 
Till lost in inward vision, with wet eye 
She gazes idly ! But that entrance, Mother ! 

FOSTER-MOTHER. 

Can no one hear 1 It is a perilous tale ! 



No one. 



FOSTER-MOTHER. 



My husband's father told it me, 
Poor Old Leoni — Angels rest his soul ! 
He was a woodman, and could fell and saw 
With lusty arm. You know that huge round beam 
Which props the hanging wall of the old Chapel. 
Beneath that tree, while yet it was a tree. 
He found a baby wrapt in mosses, lined 
With thistle beards, and such small locks of wool 
As hang on brambles. Well, he brought him home, 
And reared him at the then Lord Velez' cost. 
And so the babe grew up a pretty boy, 
A pretty boy but most unteachable — 
And never learnt a prayer nor told a bead. 
But knew the names of birds, and mocked their notes, 
And whistled, as he were a bird himself 
And all the autumn 'twas his only play 
To get the seeds of wild flowers and to plant thera 
With earth and water on the stumps of trees. 
A Friar who gathered simples in the wood, 
A gray-haired man — he loved this little boy, 



102 REMIxNISCENCES OF 

The boy loved him — and, when the Friar taught him, 

He soon could write with the pen ; and from that time 

Lived chiefly at the Convent or the Castle. 

So he became a very learned man. 

But O ! poor youth ! — he read, and read, and read, 

'Till his brain turned — and ere his twentieth year, 

He had unlawful thoughts of many things : 

And though he prayed, he never loved to pray 

With holy men, nor in a holy place — 

But yet his speech, it was so soft and sweet. 

The late Lord Velez ne'er was wearied with him. 

And once as by the north side of the Chapel 

They stood together, chained in deep discourse, 

The earth heaved under them with such a groan, 

That the wall tottered, and had well-nigh fallen 

Right on their heads. My Lord was sorely frightened : 

A fever seized the youth ; and he made confession 

Of all the heretical and lawless talk 

Which brought this judgment : so the youth was seized, 

And cast into that hole. My husband's father 

Sobbed like a child — it almost broke his heart : 

And once, as he was working in the cellar, 

He heard a voice distinctly; 'twas the youth's, 

Who sung a doleful song about green fields. 

How sweet it were on lake or wild savannah 

To hunt for food, and be a naked man, 

And wander up and down at liberty. 

He always doated on the youth, and now 

His love grew desperate ; and defying death, 

He made that cunning eiitrance I described : 

And the young man escaped. 



'Tis a sweet tale : 
Such as would lull a listening child to sleep. 
His rosy face besoiled with unwiped tears. 
And what became of him '? 

FOSTER-MOTHER. 

He went on ship-board 
With those bold voyagers, who made discovery 
Of golden lands : Leoni's younger brother 
Went likewise, and when he returned to Spain, 
He told Leoni, that the poor mad youth, 
Soon after they arrived in that new world, 
In spite of his dissuasion, seized a boat, 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 103 

And all alone set sail by silent moonlight, 
Up a great river, great as any sea, 
And ne'er was heard of more : but 'tis supposed, 
He lived and died among the savage men. 

The folloAving letter of Mr. C. was in answer to a request for 
some long-promised copy, and for which the printer importmied. 

^'Stowey, 1797. 
My dear, dear Cottle, 

Have patience, and everything shall be done. I think now en- 
tirely of your brother :^^ in two days I will think entirely for you. 
By Wednesday next you shall have Lloyd's other Poems, with all 
Lamb's, &c. &c. * ^ * " S. T. C." 

A little before this time, a singular occurrence happened to Mr. 
C. during a pedestrian excursion into Somersetshire, as detailed 
in the following letter to Mr. Wade. 

" My dear Friend, 

I am here after a most tiresome journey ; in the course of which 
a woman asked me if I knew one Coleridge, of Bristol, I ansv»^ered, 
I had heard of him. ' Do you know, (quoth she,) that that vile 
Jacobin villain drew aAvay a young man of our parish, one Burnet,' 
tkc, and in this strain did the woman continue for near an hour ; 
heaping on me every name of abuse that the parish of Billingsgate 
could supply. I listened very particularly ; appeared to approve 
all she said, exclaiming, * dear me !' two or three times, and, in 
fine, so completely won the woman's heart by my civilities, that I 
had not courage enough to undeceive her. '^* '^' '^ 

S. T. Coleridge. 

P. S. You are a good prophet. Oh, into v/hat a state have 
the scoundrels brought this devoted kingdom. If the House of 
Commons would but melt down their faces, it would greatly assist 
the copper currency — we should have brass enough." 

* My brother, when at Cambridge, had written a Latin poem for the prize : 
the subject, " Itaha, Vastata," and sent it to Mr. Coleridge, with whom he was 
on friendly terms, in MS., requesting the favor of his remarks ; and this he did 
about six weeks before it was necessary to deliver it in. Mr. C, in an imme- 
diate letter, expressed his approbation of the Poem, and cheerfully undertook 
the task; but with a little of his procrastination, he returned the MS. with his 
remarks, just one day after it was too late to deliver the poem in ! 



IU4 REMINISCENCES OF 



To refer now to another subject. Robert Bums had died in 
1790. Finding that his family had little more than their father's 
fame to support them, I consulted with Mr. Coleridge, whether it 
would not be possible to add to the fund then being raised, by 
promoting a subscription in Bristol, in furtherance of such design. 
It being deemed feasible, while Mr. C. undertook to write a Poem 
on the subject for a Bristol paper, I sent the following advertise- 
ment to the same vehicle. 

TO THE CITIZENS OF BRISTOL. 

it will doubtless afford much pleasure to the liberal portion of the inhabitants 
of this city, to understand that a subscription has been set on foot in different 
parts of the kingdom, for the wife and five small children of poor Burns, the 
Scotch poet. There has already been subscribed — 

At Dumfries, (where the Bard lived,) i;i04 12 

At Edinburgh, 64 16 

At Liverpool, 67 10 

Whoever, in Bristol, from their admiration of departed genius, may wish to 
contribute, in rescuing from distress the family of Robert Burns, will be pleased 
to leave their donations with Mr. Cottle, High-street. Mi*. Nichol, of Pall- 
mall, London, will publicly acknowledge the receipt of all moneys subscribed 
in this city. 

The sum we transmitted to the general fund, did credit to the 
liberality of Bristol. 

Mr. Coleridge had often, in the keenest terms, expressed his 
contemptuous indignation at the Scotch patrons of the poet, in 
making him an exciseman ! so that something biting was expected. 

The Poem was entitled, '' To a Friend, who had declared his 
intention of writing no more Poetry." In reading the Poem im- 
mediately after it was written, the rasping force which Mr. C. 
gave to the following concluding Hues Avas inimitable. 

" Is thy Burns dead ? 
And shall he die unwept, and sink to earth. 
Without the meed of one melodious tear ? 
Thy Burns, and nature's own beloved Bard, 
Who to ' the illustrious of his native land,'* 

* Verbatim, from Burns's dedication of his Poems to the nobility and gentry 
of the Caledonian Hunt. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 105 

So properly did look for patronage. 
Ghost of Msecenas ! hide thy blushing face ! 
They took him from the sickle and the plough — 
To guage ale firkins ! 

O, for shame return ! 
On a bleak rock, midway the Aonian Mount, 
There stands a lone and melancholy tree, 
Whose aged branches to the midnight blast 
Make solemn music, pluck its darkest bough, 
Ere yet th' unwholesome night dew be exhaled, 
And weeping, wreathe it round thy Poet's tomb : 
Then in the outskirts, where pollutions grow. 
Pick stinking henbane, and the dusky flowers 
Of night-shade, or its red and tempting fruit ; 
These, with stopped nostril, and glove-guarded hand. 
Knit in nice intertexture, so to twine 
Th' illustrious brow of Scotch Nobility!" 

If Mr. C.'s nature had been less benevolent, and he had given 
full vent to the irascible and satirical, the restrained elements of 
which abounded in his spirit, he would have obtained the least en- 
viable of all kinds of pre-eminence, and have become the undis- 
puted modern Juvenal. 

Mr. George Burnet resided sometimes wdth his relations, some- 
times with Mr. Coleridge, at Stowey. Mr. and Mrs. C. happened 
to be now in Bristol, when the former was summoned home on 
account of Burnet's sudden and serious illness. On reaching 
Stowey, Mr. C. sent me the following letter. 

" Stowey. 
My dear Friend, 

I found George Burnet ill enough, heaven knows. Yellow 
Jaundice, — the introductory symptoms very violent. I return to 
Bristol on Thursday, and shall not leave till all he done. 

Remind Mrs. Coleridge of the kittens, and tell her that George's 
brandy is just what smuggled spirits might be expected to be, 
execrable ! The smack of it remains in my mouth, and I believe 
will keep me most horribly temperate for half a century. He 
(Burnet) was bit, but I caught the Brandiphobia.^ [obliterations 

* ^ V? v: % % % 

* It appears that Mr. Burnet had been prevailed upon by smugglers to buy 
some prime cheap brandy, but which Mr. Coleridge affirmed to be a compound 
of Hellebore, kitchen grease, and Assafoetida ! or s mething as bad. 



106 REMINISCENCES OF 



— scratched out, well knowing that you never allow such things 
to pass, unccnsured. A good joke, and it slipped out most im- 
promptu — ishly . ) 

The mice play the very devil with us. It irks me to set a trap. 
By all the whiskers of all the pussies that have mewed plaintively, 
or amorously, since the days of Whittington, it is not fair. 'Tis 
telling a lie. 'Tis as if you said, ' Here is a bit of toasted cheese ; 
come, httle mice ! I invite you !' when, oh, foul breach of the rites 
of hospitality ! I mean to assassinate my too credulous guests ! No, 
I cannot set a trap, but I should vastly like to make a Pitt — fall. 
(Smoke the Pun !) But concerning the mice, advise thou, lest 
there be famine in the land. Such a year of scarcity ! Inconsid- 
erate mice ! Well, well, so the world wags. 

Farewell, S. T. C. 

P. S. A mad dog ran through our village, and bit several dogs. 
I have desired the farmers to be attentive, and to-morrow shall 
give them, in writing, the first symptoms of madness in a dog. 

I wish my pockets were as yellow as George's phiz !"^ 

The preceding letter is about a fair example of that playful and 
ebullient imagination for which Mr. Coleridge, at this time, was 
distinguished. Subjects high and low received the same embel- 
lishment. Figure crowded on figure, and image on image, in new 
and perpetual variety. 

He was once reprobating the introduction of all bull and bear 
similes into poetry. *'Well," I replied, ''whatever your antipa- 
thies may be to bulls and bears, you have no objection to wolves." 
" Yes," he answered, " I equally abominate tlie whole tribe of lion, 
bull, bear, boar, and wolf similes. They are more threadbare than 
a beggar's cast-off coat. From their rapid transition from hand 
to hand, they are now more hot and sweaty than halfpence on a 
market day. I would as soon meet a wolf in the open field, as in 
a friend's poem." I then rejoined, *' Your objection, once at least, 
to wolf similes, was not quite so strong, seeing you prevailed on 
Mr. Southey to throw into the first book of * Joan of Arc,' a five- 
line flaming wolf simile of yours. One could almost see the wolf 

* Mr. George Burnet died at the age of thirty-two, 1807. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 107 

leap, he was so fierce!" '^ Ah/' said Mr. C, "but the discredit 
rests on him, not on me." 

The simile, in question, if not a new subject, is at least, perhaps, 
as energetically expressed as any five lines in Mr. Coleridge's 
writings. 

"As who, through many a summer night serene 
Had hover.d round the fold with coward wish ; 
Horrid with brumal ice, the fiercer wolf, 
From his bleak mountain and his den of snows 
Leaps terrible and mocks the shepherd's spear." 

Book 1. L. 47. 

"June, 1796. 
My dear Cottle, 

I am sojourning for a few days at Racedown, Dorset, the man- 
sion of our friend Wordsworth ; who presents his kindest respects 
to you. "^ ^^ '^' 

Wordsworth admires my tragedy, which gives me great hopes. 
Wordsworth has written a tragedy himself. I speak with heart- 
felt sincerity, and I think, unblinded judgment, when I tell you 
that I feel myself a little man by his side, and yet. I do not think 
myself a less man than I formerly thought myself. His drama is 
absolutely wonderful. You know I do not commonly speak in 
such abrupt and unmingled phrases, and therefore will the more 
readily believe me. There are, in the piece, those profound 
touches of the human heart, which I find three or four times in 
the *' Robbers" of Schiller, and often in Shakspeare, but in Words- 
worth, there are no inequalities. ^.- ¥: ^ * 
God bless you, and eke,* 

S. T. Coleridge." 

Respecting this tragedy of Mr. W.'s, parts of which I after- 
wards heard with the highest admiration, Mr. Coleridge in a suc- 
ceeding letter gave me the following information. " I have pro- 
cured for Wordsworth's tragedy, an introduction to Harris, the 
manager of Co vent Garden, who has promised to read it atten- 

* The reader will have observed a pecuharity in most of Mr. Coleridge's 
conclusions to his letters. He generally says, " God bless you, and, or eke 
S. T. C." so as to involve a compound blessing. 



108 REMINISCENCES OF 



lively, and give his answer immediately ; and if he accepts it, to 
put it in preparation Avithout an hour's delay." 

This tragedy may or may not have been deemed suitable for 
the stage. Should the latter prove the case, and the closet be its 
element, the public after these intimations, will importunately urge 
Mr. W. to a publication of this dramatic piece, so calculated still 
to augment his high reputation. 

There is a peculiar pleasure in recording the favorable senti- 
ments which one poet and man of genius entertains of another ; I 
therefore state that Mr. Coleridge says, in a letter received from 
him March 8th, 1798, "The Giant Wordsworth — God love him ! 
When I speak in the terms of admiration due to his intellect, I 
fear lest these terms should keep out of sight the amiableness of 
his manner. He has written near tw^elve hundred lines of blank 
verse, superior, I hesitate not to aver, to anything in our lan- 
guage which any way resembles it." 

And in a letter received from Mr. Coleridge, 1807, he says — 
speaking of his friend Mr. W., "He is one, whom God knows, I 
love and honor as far beyond myself, as both morally and intel- 
lectually he is above me." 

"Stowey, 1797. 
My dear Cottle, 

Wordsworth and his exquisite sister are w^ith me. She is a 
woman indeed ! in mind I mean, and heart ; for her person is 
such, that if you expected to see a pretty w^oman, you would 
think her rather ordinary ; if you expected to see an ordinary 
woman, you would think her pretty ! but her manners are simple, 
ardent, impressive. In every motion, her most innocent soul out- 
beams so brightly, that who saw would say, 

" Guilt was a thing impossible in her." 

Her information various. Her eye w^atchful in minutest observa- 
tion of nature ; and her taste, a perfect electrometer. It bends, 
protrudes, and draws in, at subtlest beauties, and most recondite 
faults. 

She and W. desire their kindest respects to you. 

Your ever affectionate friend, 

S. T. C." 



I 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 109 

'^Stowey, Sept., 11 91, 
My very dear Cottle, 

Your illness afflicts me, and unless 1 receive a full account of 
you by Milton, I shall be very uneasy, so do not fail to write. 

Herbert Croft is in Exeter jail ! This is unlucky. Poor devil ! 
He must now be unpeppered."^ We are all well. Wordsworth is 
well. Hartley sends a grin to you ? He has another tooth ! 

* Mrs. Newton, Chatterton's sister, had complained to me of the dishonor- 
able conduct of a gentleman, who, some years prior, had called on her, ex- 
pressing an enthusiastic admiration of her brother's genius, and requesting the 
melancholy pleasure of seeing all the letters, then in her and her mother's 
possession. The gentleman appeared quite affected when he saw her brother's 
writings, and begged to be allowed to take them to his inn, that he might read 
them at leisure ; the voice of sympathy disarmed suspicion, and the timely 
present of a guinea and a half induced them to trust him with the MSS., 
under the promise of their being returned in half an hour. They were never 
restored, and some months afterwards the whole were incorporated and pub- 
lished in a pamphlet, entitled " Love and Madness," by Mr. Herbert Croft. 
Mrs. Chatterton felt the grievous wrong that had been done her by this publi- 
cation for the benefit of another, as she often received presents from strangers 
who called to see her son's writings ; she remonstrated with Mr. Croft on the 
subject, and received 10/. with expressions of his regard. 

Here the affair rested, till 179G, when Mrs. Newton was advised to wnte to 
Mr. Croft, for further remuneration. To this letter, no answer was returned. 
Mrs. N. then wrote again, intimating that, acting by the advice of some re- 
spectable friends, if no attention was paid to this letter, some public notice 
would be taken of the manner in v/hich he had obtained her brother's papers. 
Upon this he replied, " The sort of threatening letter which Mrs. Newton's is, 
will never succeed with me. * * but if the clergyman of the parish will 
do me the favor to write me word, through Mrs. Newton, what Chatterton's 
relations consist of. and, lahai characters they bear ! I will try by everything in 
my power, to serve them ; yet certainly not, if any of them pretend to have 
the smallest claim upon me." 

During Mr. Southey's residence in Bristol, I informed him of this discredit- 
able affair, and accompanied him to Mrs. Newton, who confirmed the whole 
of the preceding statement. We inquired if she still possessed any writings 
of her brother's ] Her reply was, " Nothing. Mr. Croft had them all," with 
the exception of one precious relic of no value as a publication, which she 
meant to retain till death. — The identical, pocket-book, which Chatterton took 
with him to London, and in which he had entered his cash account while 
there, with a list of his political letters to the Lord Mayor, and the first person- 
ages in the land. I now wrote to Mr. Croft, pointing out Mrs. Newton's 
reasonable claims, and urging him, by a timely concession, to prevent that 
publicity which, otherwise, would follow. I received no answer. Mr. Southey 



110 REMINISCENCES OP 



In the wagon, there was brought from Bath, a trunk, in order 
to be forwarded to Stowey, directed, ' S. T. Coleridge, Stowey, 
near Bridge water.' This, we suppose, arrived in Bristol on Tues- 

then determined to print by subscription, all Chatterton's works, including 
those ascribed to Rowley, for the benefit of Mrs. Newton and her daughter. 
He sent " Proposals" to the Monthly Magazine, in which he detailed the whole 
case between Mrs. Newton and Mr. Croft, and pubhshed their respective 
letters. The public sympathized rightly on the occasion, for a handsome sub- 
scription followed. Mr. Crofl, at that time resided at Copenhagen, when 
having heard of Mr. S.'s exposure, he published a pamphlet, with the following 
title. 

" Chatterton, and Love and Madness. A Letter from Denmark, respecting 
an unprovoked attack made upon the writer, during his absence from Eng- 
land, &c." By the Rev. Sir Herbert Croft, Bart. In this he says : — 

"I cannot be expected, by any man of honor! or feeling, to descend to 
answer a scurrilous person, signing himself Robert Southey. 

" I have ever reverenced the little finger of Chatterton, more than Mr. 
Southey knows how to respect the poor boy's whole body. 

" I learn so much of Mr. Southey's justice from his abuse, that I should be 
ashamed of myself, were this person ever to disgrace me by his praise ; which 
might happen, did he wish to gain money, or fame ! by becoming the officious 
editor of my works ! 

" Innocence would less often fall a prey to villainy, if it boldly met the 
whole of a nefarious accusation ! 

" The great Mr. Southey writes prose somewhat like bad poetry, and poetry 
somewhat like bad prose. 

" Chatterton was the glory of that Bristol which I hope Mr. S. will not 
further disgrace, 

" Mr. Southey, not content with trying to ' filch from me my good name,' 
in order to enrich himself, (conduct agreeable enough to what I have heard 
of Bristol Pantisocracy,) but condescends to steal from me my humble 
prose !" &€. &c. 

This edition of Chatterton's works was published in three volumes, 8vo. 
during a ten month's residence of mine, in London, in the year 1802. Mr. 
Southey allowed me to make what observations I thought proper in the course 
of the work, provided that I affixed to them my initials ; and, with the gene- 
rosity which was natural to him, thus wrote in the preface : " The editors (for 
so much of the business has devolved on Mr. Cottle, that the plural terra is 
necessary) have to acknowledge," &c. &c. " They have felt peculiar pleasure,, 
as natives of the same city, in performing this act of justice to Chatterton's 
fame, and to the interests of his family." 

The result of our labors was, that Mrs. Newton received more than three 
hundred pounds, as the produce of her brother's works. This money rendered 
comfortable the last days of herself and daughter, and Mr. Southey and my- 



\ 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. Ill 

• 

day or Wednesday, last week. It belonged to Thelwall. If it 
be not forwarded to Stowey, let it be stopped, and not sent. 

Give my kind love to your brother Robert, and ax him to put 
on his hat, and run, without delay to the inn, or place, by what- 
ever bird, beast, fish, or man distinguished, where Parsons's Bath 
wagon sets up. 

From your truly affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

A letter, written, at this time, by Mr. Coleridge to Mr. Wade, 
more particularly refers to Mr. Thelwall's visit at Stowey. 

self derived no common satisfaction in having contributed to so desirable an 
end. 

In this edition Mr. Southey arranged all the old materials, and the con- 
sideration of the authenticity of Rowley, I regret to say, devolved exclusively 
on me, Mr. S. would doubtless have been more successful in his investiga- 
tions at the Bristol Museum and Herald's College than myself I however 
did not spare my best efforts, and was greatly assisted by the late Mr. Hasle- 
wood, who had collected one copy of every work that had been published in 
the Controversy. And as I had obtained much new documentary evidence 
since that period, besides knowing many of Chatterton's personal friends, I 
condensed the arguments in his favor into four essays, distinguished by the 
initials, *'J. C." 

In the year 1829, having received still an accession of fresh matter, I en- 
larged these Essays, and printed them in the fourth edition of "Malvern Hills, 
Poems, and Essays." I thought the subject worthy a full discussion, and 
final settlement ; and to this point I believe it now to be brought. 

Higher authority than that of Mr. Wordsworth could hardly be adduced, 
who on being presented by me with a copy of the above work, thus replied : 
" My dear sir, 

I received yesterday, through the hands of Mr. Southey. a very agreeable 
mark of your regard, in a present of two volumes of your miscellaneous works, 
for which accept my sincere thanks. I have read a good deal of your volumes 
with much pleasure, and in particular, the ' Malvern Hills,' which I found 
greatly improved. I have also read the ' Monody on Henderson,' both favor- 
ites of mine. And I have renewed my acquaintance with your observations 
on Chatterton, which I always thought very highly of, as being conclusive on 
the subject of the forgery. * * * 

With many thanks, I remain, my dear Mr. Cottle, 
Your old and affectionate friend, 

William Wordsworth. 

Patterdak, August 2d, 1829. 



112 REMINISCENCES OF 



^'Stowey, 1797. 
My very dear Friend, 

* * ^' John Thelwall is a very warm-hearted, honest 
man ; and disagreeing as we do, on almost every point of religion, 
of morals, of politics, and philosophy, we like each other uncom- 
monly well. He is a great favorite with Sara. Energetic ac- 
tivity of mind and of heart, is his master feature. He is prompt 
to conceive, and still prompter to execute ; but I think he is defi- 
cient in that patience of mind which can look intensely and fre- 
quently at the same subject. He believes and disbelieves with 
impassioned confidence. I wish to see him doubting, and doubt- 
ing. He is intrepid, eloquent, and honest. Perhaps, the only act- 
ing democrat that is honest, for the patriots are ragged cattle ; a 
most execrable herd. Arrogant because they are ignorant, and 
boastful of the strength of reason, because they have never tried 
it enough to know its weakness. Oh ! my poor country ! The 
clouds cover thee. There is not one spot of clear blue in the 
whole heaven ! 

My love to all whom you love, and believe me, with brotherly 
affection, with esteem and gratitude, and every warm emotion of 
the heart, 

Your faithful 

S. T. Coleridge." 

''London, 1797. 
Dear Cottle, 

If Mrs. Coleridge be in Bristol, pray desire her to write to me 
immediately, and I beg you, the moment you receive this letter, 
to send to No. 17, Newfoundland Street, to know whether she be 
there. I have written to Stowey, but if she be in Bristol, beg her 
to write to me of it by return of post, that I may immediately 
send down some cash for her travelling expenses, &c. We shall 
reside in London for the next four months. 

God bless you, Cottle, I love you, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

P. S. The volume (second edition, Coleridge, Lloyd, and 
Lamb,) is a most beautiful one. You have determined that the 
three Bards shall walk up Parnassus, in their best bib and tucker. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 113 

^'Stowey, June 29th, ]797. 
My very dear Cottle, 

^ ''' ''^ Charles Lamb will probably be here in about a fort- 
night. Could you not contrive to put yourself in a Bridgewater 
coach, and T. Poole would fetch you in a one-horse chaise to 
Stowey. What delight would it not give us. '^ ^' ^ 

It was not convenient at this time to accept Mr. C.'s invitation, 
but going to Stowey two or three weeks afterwards, I learnt how 
pleasantly the interview had been between Ch.arles Lamb and 
himself. It is delightful even at the present momxent, to recall 
the images connected with my then visit to S-tovrey, (which those 
can best understand, w4io, like myself, have escaped from severe 
duties to a brief season of happ}^ recreation.) Mr. Coleridge wel- 
comed me with the warmest cordiality. He talked with affection 
of his old school-fellow. Lamb, wJio had so recently left him ; re- 
gretted he had not an opportunity of introducing me to one whom 
he so highly valued. Mr. C. took peculiar delight in assuring me 
(at least, at that tiaie) how happy he was ; exhibiting success- 
ively, his house, his garden, his orchard, laden with fruit ; and 
also the contrivances he had made to unite his two neighbors' do- 
mains with his owm. 

After the grand circuit had been accomplished, by hospitable 
contrivance, we approached the " Jasmine harbor," when to our 
gratifying surprise, we found the tripod table laden with de- 
hcious bread and cheese, surmounted by a brown mug of true 
Taunton ale. We instinctively took our seats ; and there must 
have been some downright witchery in tlie provisions which sur- 
passed all of its kind ; nothing like it on the vvide terrene, and one 
glass of the Taunton, settled it to an axiom. While the dap- 
pled sunbeams played on our table througli the umbrageous 
canopy, the very birds seem^ed to participate in our felicities, and 
poured forth their selectest anthems. As we sat in our sylvan 
hall of splendor, a company of the happiest mortals, (T. Poole, 
C. Lloyd, S. T. Coleridge, and J. C.,) the bright-blue heavens ; 
the sporting insects ; the balmy zephyrs : the feathered chor- 
isters ; the sympathy of friends, all augmented the pleasur- 
able to the highest point this side the celestial ! Every in- 
terstice of our hearts being filled with happiness, as a conse- 



114 REMINISCENCES OF 



(juence, tliere was no room for sorrow, exorcised as it now was, 
and hovering around at unapproachable distance. With our spir- 
its thus entranced, though vre might ^vveep at other moments, yet 
joyance so filled all within and without, that if, at this juncture, 
tidings had been brought us, that an irruption of the ocean had 
swallowed up all our brethren of Pekin ; from the pre-occupation 
of our minds, ".poor things," would have been our only reply, 
wdth anguish put off till the morrow\ While thus elevated in the 
universal current of our feelings, Mrs. Coleridge approached, with 
her fine Hartley ; w^e all smiled, but the father's eye beamed 
transcendental joy ! " But, all things have an end." Yet, pleasant 
it is for memory to treasure up in her choicest depository, a few 
such scenes, (these sunny spots in existence !) on which the spirit 
may repose, when the rough, adverse wdnds shake and disfigure all 
besides. 

Although so familiar with the name and character of Charles 
Lamb, through the medium of S. T. Coleridge, yet my inter- 
course, (with the exception of one casual visit,) commenced with 
him in the year 1802, during a residence of many months in Lon- 
don, wdien we often met. After this period, from my residing 
permanently in Bristol, our acquaintance w^as intermitted, till 
1819, w^icn he requested the loan of a portrait, for the purpose 
expressed in the following letter. 

'' Dear Sir, 

It is so long since I have seen or heard from you, that I fear 
that you w411 consider a request I have to make, as impertinent. 
About three years since, when I was in Bristol, I made an effort 
to see you, by calling at Brunswick Square, but you were from 
home. The request I have to make, is, that you would very much 
oblige me, if you have any small portrait of yourself, by allowing 
me to have it copied, to accompany a selection of the likenesses 
of 'Living Bard's,' which a most particular friend of mine is 
making. If you have no objection, and v>^ould oblige me by trans- 
mitting such portrait, I will answer for taking the greatest care 
of it, and for its safe return. I hope you wall pardon the liberty, 
From an old friend and wxll wisher, 

Charles Lamb." 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 115 

In consequence of this application, I sent Charles Lamb a por- 
trait, by Branwhite, and enclosed for his acceptance, the second 
part of my " Messiah." When the portrait was returned, it was ac- 
companied with the following letter, containing a few judicious re- 
marks, such as might have been expected from olie whose judg- 
ment Mr. Coleridge so highly estimated. 

" Dear Sir, 

My friend, whom you have obliged by the loan of your picture, 
has had it very nicely copied, (and a very spirited drawing it is ; 
so every one thinks who has seen it.) The copy is not much infe- 
rior to yours, done by a daughter of Joseph's, R.A. 

I accompany the picture with my warm thanks, both for that, 
and your better favor the ' Messiah,' which I assure you I have 
read through with great pleasure. The verses have great sweet- 
ness, and a New Testament plainness about them which affected 
me very much. I could just wish that in page 63, you had omit- 
ted the lines 71 and 72, and had ended the period with, 

' The willowy brook was there, but that sweet sound — 
When to be heard again on earthly ground !' 

Two very sweet lines and the sense perfect. 
And in page 154, line 68, 

' He spake, " I come, ordain'd a world to save. 
To be baptiz'd by thee in Jordan's wave." ' 

These words are hardly borne out by the story, and seem scarce 
accordant with the modesty with which our Lord came to take his 
common portion among the baptismal candidates. They also an- 
ti'sjpate the beauty of John's recognition of the Messiah, and the 
subsequent confirmation by the Voice and Dove. 

You will excuse the remarks of an old brother bard, whose 
career, though long since pretty well stopped, was coeval in its 
beginning with your own, and who is sorry his lot has been 
always to be so distant from you. It is not likely that C. L. will 
see Bristol again, but if J. C. should ever visit London, he will 
be a most welcome visitor to C. L. My sister joins in cordial re- 
membrances. Dear sir, Yours truly, 

Charles Lamb." 



116 REMINISCENCES OF 



J 



Having always entertained for Charles Lamb a very kind feel- 
ing, independently of my admiration of his wit and genius, I re- 
quested his acceptance of my poem of the " Fall of Cambria," to 
which he sent the following characteristic reply. 

^'London, India House, May 26, 1829. 
My dear Sir, 

I am quite ashamed of not having acknowledged your kind 
present earlier, but that unknown something which was never yet 
discovered, though so often speculated upon, v/hich stands in the 
way of lazy folks' answering letters, has presented its usual obsta- 
cle. It is not forgetfulness, nor disrespect, nor incivility, but ter- 
ribly like all these bad things. 

I have been in my time a great Epistolatory scribbler, but the 
passion, and with it the facility, at length wears out, and it must 
be pumped up again by the hea\y machinery of duty or gratitude, 
when it should run free. I have read your ' Fall of Cambria' 
with as much pleasure as I did your ' Messiah.' Your Cambrian 
Poem I shall be tempted to repeat oftenest, as human poems take 
me in a mood more frequently congenial than divine. The char- 
acter of Llewellyn pleases me more than anything else perhaps ; 
and then some of the Lyrical pieces are fine varieties. 

It w^as quite a mistake that I could dislike anything you should 
write against Lord Byron, for I have a thorough aversion to his 
character, and a very moderate admiration of his genius ; he is 
great in so little a w^ay. To be a poet is to be the man ; not a 
petty portion of occasional low passion worked up in a permanent 
form of humanity. Shakespeare has thrust such rubbishly feel- 
ings into a corner — the dark dusky heart of Don John, in the 
' Much Ado about Nojthing.' The fact is, I have not seen your 
' Expostulatory Epistle' to him. I was not aw^are, till your ques- 
tion, that it was out. I shall inquire and get it forthwith. 

Southey is in town, w^hom I have seen slightly. Wordsworth 
expected, whom I hope to see much of. I w^rite with accelerated 
motion, for I have two or three bothering clerks and brokers 
about me, who always press in proportion as you seem to be 
doing something that is not business. I could exclaim a little 
profanely, but I think you do not like swearing. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY^. 117 

I conclude, begging you to consider that I feel myself much 
obliged by your kindness, and shall be most happy at any and at 
all times to hear from you. 

Dear Sir, yours truly, Charles Lamb." 

Mr. Coleridge, in the second edition of his poems, transferred 
some of the poems which appeared in the first, to a supplement, 
and, amongst others, some verses addressed to myself, with the 
following notice. 

" The first in order of these verses which I have thus endeavored to reprieve 
from immediate oblivion, was originally addressed " To the Author of Poems 
published anonymously at Bristol." A second edition of these poems has 
lately appeared, with the author's name prefixed: (Joseph Cottle) and I could 
not refuse myself the gratification of seeing the name of that man amongst my 
poems, without whose kindness they would probably have remained unpub- 
lished ; and to whom I know myself greatly, and variously obliged, as a poet, 
a man, and a christian. 

LINES 

ADDRESSED TO JOSEPH COTTLE. 

My honor'd friend ! whose verse concise, yet clear. 

Tunes to smooth melody unconquer'd sense. 

May your fame fadeless live, " as never seer" 

The ivy wreathes yon oak, whose broad defence 

Embow'rs me from noon's sultry influence ! 

For like that nameless riv'let stealing by. 

Your modest verse to musing quiet dear 

Is rich with tints heaven-borrow'd, the charm'd eye 

Shall gaze undazzled there, and love the soften'd sky 

Circling the base of the poetic mount 

A stream there is, which rolls in lazy flow ; 

Its cold-black waters from oblivion's fount ; 

The vapor poison'd birds that fly too low, 

Fall with dead swoop, and to the bottom go. 

Escaped that heavy stream on pinion fleet, 

Beneath the mountain's lofty frowning brow, 

Ere aught of perilous ascent you meet, 

A mead of mildest charm delays the unlab'ring feet. 

Not there the cloud-climb rock, sublime and vast, 
That like some giant king, o'er-glooms the hill ; 
Nor there the pine-grove to the midnight blast 
Makes solemn music ! But the unceasing rill 



118 REMINISCENCES OF 

To the soft wren or lark's descending trill 
Murmurs sweet under-song 'mid jasmine bowers. 
In this same pleasant meadow at your will, 
I ween, you wander' d — there collecting flow'rs 
Of sober tint, and herbs of medicinal powers ! 

There for the mon arch-murder' d soldier's tomb 
You wove the unfinish'd* wreath of saddest hues, 
And to that holier f chaplet added bloom 
Besprinkling it with Jordan's cleansing dews. 
But low ! your:j: Henderson awakes the Muse — 
His spirit beckon'd from the mountain's height ! 
You left the plain and soar'd mid richer views ! 
So nature mourn'd, when sank the first day's light, 
With stars, unseen before, spangling her robe of night 

Still soar my friend those richer views among, 

Strong, rapid, fervent, flashing fancy's beam ! 

Virtue and truth shall love your gentler song : 

But Poesy demands th' impassion'd theme : 

Wak'd by heaven's silent dews at Eve's mild gleam 

What balmy sweets Pomona breathes around '? 

But if the vex'd air rush a stormy stream, 

Or autumn's shrill gust moan in plaintive sound 

With fruits and flowers she loads the tempest honor'd ground. 

While the first edition of Mr. Coleridge's poems was in the 
press, I received from him the following letter. 

" My dear Sir, 

^ ^ % ^k There is a beautiful little poetic epistle of Sara's, 
which I mean to print here. What if her epistle to you were 
likewise printed, so as to have two of her poems ? It is remark- 
ably elegant, and would do honor to any volume of poems." 

The first epistle I never received. The second was printed in 
the first edition of Mr. C.'s poems, and in no other. On account 
of its merit it is here inserted. 

* War, a Fragment. f John the Baptist, a poem. 

J Monody on John Henderson. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 119 
' THE PRODUCTION OF A YOUNG LADY,* 

ADDRESSED TO HER FRIEND, J. COTTLE. 



She had lost her thimble, and her complaint being accidentally overheard 
by her friend, he immediately sent her four others to take her choice from. 



As oft mine eye, with careless glance, 
Has gallop'd o'er some old romance. 
Of speaking birds, and steeds with wings, 
Giants and dwarfs, and fiends, and kings : 
Beyond the rest, with more attentive care, 
I've loved to read of elfin-favor' d fair — 
How if she longed for aught beneath the sky, 
And suffered to escape one votive sigh, 
Wafted along on viewless pinions airy. 
It laid itself obsequious at her feet : 

Such things I thought we might not hope to meet, 

Save in the dear delicious land of fairy ! 

But now (by proof I know it well) 

There's still some peril in free wishing — 

Politeness is a licensed spell, 

And you, dear sir, the arch-magician. 

You much perplexed me by the various set. 
They were indeed an elegant quartette ! 
My mind went to and fro, and wavered long ; 
At* length I've chosen (Samuel thinks me wrong) 
That around whose azure brim, 
Silver figures seem to swim. 
Like fleece-white clouds, that on the skyey blue, 
Waked by no breeze, the self-same shapes retain ; 
Or ocean nymphs, with limbs of snowy hue, 
Slow floating o'er the calm cerulean plain. 

Just such a one, mon cher ami 
(The finger-shield of industry,) 
The inventive gods, I deem, to Pallas gave, 
What time the vain Arachne, madly brave, 
Challenged the blue-eyed virgin of the sky 
A duel in embroidered work to try. 
And hence the thimbled finger of grave Pallas, 
To th' erring needle's point was more than callous. 

♦ Miss Sarah Fricker, afterwards, Mrs. Coleridge, 



120 REMINISCENCES OF 

But, ah, the poor Arachne ! she, unarmed, 
Blund'ring, through hasty eagernesss, alarmed 
With all a rival's hopes, a mortal's fears, 
Still miss'd the stitch, and stained the web with tears. 

Unnumbered punctures, small, yet sore, 

Full fretfully the maiden bore. 

Till she her lily finger found 

Crimson'd with many a tiny wound, 
And to her eyes, suffused with watery woe, 

Her flower-embroidered web danced dim, I wist, 

Like blossom'd shrubs, in a quick-moving mist ; 
Till vanquish'd, the despairing maid sank low. 

O, Bard ! whom sure no common muse inspires, 
I heard your verse that glows with vestal fires ; 
And I from unwatch'd needle's erring point 
Had surely suffered on each finger-joint. 
Those wounds, which erst did poor Arachne meet ; 

While he, the much-loved object of my choice, 
(My bosom thriUing with enthusiast heat) 

Pour'd on my ear, with deep impressive voice, 
How the great Prophet of the desert stood, 
And preach'd of penitence by Jordan's flood : 
On war ; or else the legendary lays, 
In simplest measures hymn'd to Alla's praise ; 
Or what the Bard from his heart's inmost stores, 
O'er his friend's grave in loftier numbers pours : 
Yes, Bard polite ! you but obey'd the laws 
Of justice, when the thimble you had sent ; 
What wounds your thought-bewildering muse might cause, 
'Tis well, your finger-shielded gifts prevent. 

Sara.-? 

" Dear Cottle, 

I have heard nothing of my Tragedy, except some silly remarks 
of Kemble's, to whom a friend showed it ; it does not appear to 
me that there is a shadow of probability that it will be accepted. 
It gave me no pain, and great pleasure, in finding that it gave me 
no pain. 

I had rather hoped than believed that I was possessed of so 
much philosophical capability. Sheridan most certainly has not 
used me with common justice. The proposal came from himself, 
and although this circumstance did not bind him to accept the 
tragedy, it certainly bound him to eveiy, and that the earliest. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 12J 

attention to it. I suppose it is snugly in his green bag, if it have 
not emigrated to the kitchen. 

I sent to the Monthly Magazine, (1797,) three mock Sonnets, in 
ridicule of my own Poems, and Charles Lloyd's, and Lamb's, &c. 
&c., exposing that affectation of unaffectedness, of jumping and 
misplaced accent, in commonplace epithets, flat lines forced into 
poetry by italics, (signifying how well and mouthishly the author 
would read them,) puny pathos, &c. &c., the instances were almost 
all taken from myself, and Lloyd, and Lamb. 

I signed them ' Nehemiah Higginbotham.' I think they may 
do good to our young Bards, 

God love you, S. T. Cr 

P. S. I am translating the ' Oberon,' of Wieland ; it is a diffi- 
cult language, and I can translate at least as fast as I can construe. 
I have made also a very considerable proficiency in the French 
language, and study it daily, and daily study the German ; so 
that I am not, and have not been idle. "'^ '^ '^ 



SONNETS, 

ATTEMPTED IN THE MANNER OF CONTEMPORARY WRITERS. 

SONNET I 

Pensive, at eve, on the hard world I mus'd. 

And my poor heart was sad : so at the moon 

I gazed, and sigh'd, and sigh'd ! for ah ! how soon 
Eve darkens into night ! Mine eye perus'd 
With tearful vacancy the dampy grass, 

Which wept and gUtter'd in the paly ray : 

And I did pause me on my lonely way. 
And muse me on those wretched ones, who pass 

O'er the black heath of sorrow. But alas ! 
Most of MYSELF I thought : when it befel 
That the sooth spirit of the breezy wood 

Breath'd in mine ear — ' All this is very well ; 
But much of one thing is for no-tJilng good." 

Ah ! my poor heart's inexplicable swell ! 

Nehemiah Higginbotham. 

6 



122 REMINISCEINCES OF 



SONNET It 

TO fU M P L 1 C 1 T Y . 

O ! I do love thee, meek simplicity ! 

For of thy lays, the lulling simpleness 

Goes to my heart, and soothes each small distress, 
Distress, though small, yet haply great to me ! 
'Tis true, on lady fortune's gentlest pad, 

I amble on ; yet, though I know not why, 

So sad I am ! — but should a fiiend and I 
Grow cool and miff, oh, I am very sad ! 
And then with sonnets, and with sympath}^. 

My dreamy bosom's mystic woes 1 pall ; 
Now of my false friend 'plaining plaintively, 

Now ra\dng at mankind in gener-al 

But whether sad or fierce, 'tis simple all. 
All very simple, meek simplicity ! 

Nkhemiah Higginbotham. 



' SONNET m. 

ON A RUINED HOUSE WHICH JACK BUILT. 

And this reft house is that, the which he built, 
Lamented Jack ! and here his malt he piled. 
Cautious in vain ! These rats that squeak' d so wild, 

Squeak, not unconscious of their fathers' guilt. 

Did ye not see her gleaming through the glade ? 
Belike 'twas she, the Maiden all forlorn 
What though she milk no cow with crumpled horn. 

Yet, aye she haunts the dale where erst she stray 'd : 

And, aye beside her stalks her amorous knight ! 
Still on his thighs his wonted brogues are worn, 
And through those brogues, still tatter'd and betorn. 

His hindward charms gleam an unearthly white ; 

As when through broken clouds, at night's liigh moon, 

Peeps in fair fragments forth — the full-orb'd harvest-moon ! 

Nehemiah Higginbotham.* 

* Relating to these Sonnets, chiefly satirizing himself, Mr. C. has said, in 
his " Biographia;" <' So general at that time, and so decided was the opinion 
concerning the characteristic vices of my style, that a celebrated physician, 
(Dr. Beddoes) speaking of me, in other respects, with his usual kindness, to a 
gentleman who was about to meet me at a dinner party, could not however 
resist giving him a hint not to mention, in my presence, ' The House that Jack 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 123 

The moralist rightly says, " There is nothing permanent in this 
uncertain world ;" and even most friendships do not partake of the 
"Munition of Rocks." 

Alas ! the spirit of impartiality now compels me to record, that 
the inseparable Trio; even the three " Groscolliases" themselves, 
had, somehow or other, been touched with the negative magnet, 
and their particles, in opposition flew off " as far as from hence to 
the utmost pole." I never rightly understood the cause of this 
dissension, but shrewdly suspected that that unwelcome and in- 
sidious intruder, Mr. Nehemiah Higginbotham, had no inconsider- 
able share in it. 

Mr. C. even determined in his third projected edition, (1798,) 
that the productions of his two late friends should be excluded. 
The three next letters refer to this unpleasant affair. It is hardly 
necessary to add, that the difference was of short continuance. 

The Latin motto, prefixed to thd second edition of Mr. C.'s 
poems, puzzled everybody to know from what author it was de- 
rived. One and another inquired of me, to no purpose, and ex- 
pressed a wish that Mr. C. had been clearer in his citation, as ''no 
one could understand it." On my naming this to Mr. Coleridge, 
he laughed heartily, and said, " It was all a hoax." " Not meet- 
ing" said he, '' with a suitable motto, I invented one, and with 

Built/ for that I was as sore as a boil about that sonnet, he not knowing that 
I myself was the author of it. 

Mr. Coleridge had a singular taste for satirizing himself. He has spoken 
of another ludicrous consequence arising out of this indulgence. 

" An amateur perfonner in verse, expressed to a common friend, a strong 
desire to be introduced to me, but hesitated in accepting my friend's immediate 
offer, on the score, that ' he was, he must acknowledge, the author of a con- 
founded severe epigram on Mr. C.'s ' Ancient Mariner,' which had given him 
great pain.' I assured my friend, that if the epigram was a good one, it 
would only increase my desire to become acquainted with the author, and 
begged to hear it recited ; when, to my no less surprise than amusement, it 
proved to be one which I had myself, sometime before, written and inserted in 
the Morning Post." 

TO THE AUTHOR OF THE ANCIENT MARINER. 

Your Poem must eternal be, 

Dear Sir, it cannot fail, 
For 'tis incomprehensible, 

And without head or tail." 



124 REMINISCENCES OF 



nextfl 



references purposely obscure," as will be explained in the 
letter.* 

"March 8th, 1798. 
My dear Cottle, 

1 have been confined to my bed for some days, through a fever 
occasioned by the stump of a tooth, which baffled chirurgical ef- 
forts to eject, and which, by affecting my eye, affected my stom- 
ach, and through that my whole frame. I am better, but still 
weak, in consequence of such long sleeplessness and wearying 
pains ; weak, very weak. I thank you, my dear friend, for your 
late kindness, and in a few weeks will either repay you in money, 
or by verses, as you like. With regard to Lloyd's verses, it is 
curious that I should be applied to, ' to be persuaded to resign,' 
and in hopes that I might ' consent to give up' (unknown by whom) 
a number of poems which were published at the earnest request 
of the author, who assured me, that the circumstance was of * no 
trivial import to his happiness !' 

Times change and people change ; but let us keep our souls in 
quietness ! I have no objection to any disposal of Lloyd's poems 
except that of their being republished with mine. The motto 
which I had prefixed — " Duplex, (fee." from Groscollias, has placed 
me in a ridiculous situation, but it was a foolish and presumptuous 
start of affectionateness, and I am not unwilling to incur the pun- 
ishment due to my folly. By past experiences we build up our 
moral being. God bless you. S. T. Coleridge." 

A reference to this " stump of a tooth," was more particularly 
made, in the following letter to Mr. Wade. 

"March 21st, 1798. 
My very dear friend, 

I have even now returned from a little excursion that I have 
taken for the confirmation of my health, which had suffered a rude 
assault from the anguish of the stump of a tooth which had baf- 

* The motto was the following : 
Duplex nobis vinculum, et amicitae et similium junctarumque CamcEnanim; 
quod utinam neque mors solvat, neque temporis longinquitas ! — GroscoU. 
Bjrisf.. ad Car. Utenhm). et Ptol. Laix. Tost. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 125 

fled the attempts of our surgeon here, and which confined me to 
my bed. I suffered much from the disease, and more from the 
doctor ; rather than again put my mouth into his hands, I would 
put my hands into a hon's mouth. I am happy to hear of, and 
should be most happy to see, the plumpness and progression of 
your dear boy ; but — yes, my dear Wade, it must be a but, much 
as I hate the vford but. Well, — but I cannot attend the chemical 
lectures. I have many reasons, but the greatest, or at least the 
most ostensible reason, is, that I cannot leave Mrs. C. at that 
time ; our house is an uncomfortable one ; our surgeon may be, for 
aught I know, a lineal descendant of Esculapius himself, but if so, 
in the repeated transfusion of life from father to son, through so 
many generations, the wit and knowledge being subtile spirits, 
have evaporated. ^ ^ '^' 

Ever your grateful and affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

^'1778. 
My dear Cottle, 

I regret that aught should have disturbed our tranquillity ; re- 
specting Lloyd, I am willing to believe myself in part mistaken, 
and so let all things be as before. I have no wish respecting 
these poems, either for or against re-publication with mine. As 
to the third edition, if there be occasion for it immediately, it must 
be published with some alterations, but no additions or omissions. 
The Pixies, Chatterton, and some dozen others, shall be printed at 
the end of the volume, under the title of Juvenile Poems, and in 
this case I will send you the volume immediately. But if there 
be no occasion for the volume to go to press for ten weeks, at the 
expiration of that time, I would make it a volume worthy of me, 
and omit utterly near one-half of the present volume — a sacrifice 
to pitch black obhvion.^ 

* Eminent writers, particularly poets, should ever remember, they wield a 
mighty engine for evil or for good. An author, Hke Mr. Coleridge, may con- 
fidently talk of consigning to " pitch black oblivion," writings which he deems 
immoral, or calculated to disparage his genius ; but on works once given to 
the world, the public lay too tenacious a hold, to consult even the wishes of 
writers themselves. Improve they may, but withdraw they cannot! So 
much the more is circumspection required. 



120 REMINISCENCES OF 



3 



Whichever be the case, I will repay you the money you have 
paid for me, in money, and in a few weeks ; or if you should prefer 
the latter proposal, i. e. the not sending me to the press for ten 
weeks, I should insist on considering the additions, however large, 
as my payment to you for the omissions, which, indeed, Vv ould be 
but strict justice. , 

I am requested by Wordsworth, to put to you the following 
questions. What could you, conveniently and prudently, and 
what would you give for — first, our two Tragedies, with small 
prefaces, containing an analysis of our principal characters ? Ex- 
clusive of the prefaces, the tragedies are, together, five thousand 
lines ; w^hich, in printing, from the dialogue form, and directions 
respecting actors and scenery, are at least equal to six thousand. 
To be delivered to you within a w^eek of the date of your answer 
to this letter ; and the money which you offer, to be paid to us at 
the end of four months from the same date ; none to be paid be- 
fore, all to be paid then. 

Second. — Wordsworth's ' Salisbury Plain,' and ' Tale of a Wo- 
man ;' which two poems, with a few others which he will add, and 
the notes, will make a volume. This to be delivered to you within 
three weeks of the date of your answer, and the money to be paid 
as before, at the end of four months from the present date. 

Do not, my dearest Cottle, harass yourself about the imagined 
great merit of the compositions, or be reluctant to offer what you 
can prudently offer, from an idea that the poems are worth more. 
But calculate what you can do, with reference simply to yourself, 
and answer as speedily as you can ; and believe me your sincere, 
grateful, and affectionate friend and brother, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

I offered Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Wordsworth, thirty guineas 
each, as proposed, for their two tragedies ; but vrhich, after some 
hesitation, was declined, from the hope of introducing one, or 
both, on the stao^e. The volume of Poems w^as left for some fu- 
ture arrangement. 

" My dear Cottle, 

I never involved you in the bickering, and never suspected you, 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 127 

in any one action of your life, of practising guile against any hu- 
man being, except yourself. 

Your letter supplied only one in a link of circumstances, that 
informed me of some things, and perhaps deceived me in others. 
1 shall write to-day to Lloyd. I do not think 1 shall come to 
Bristol for these lectures of Avhich you speak.''*^ I ardently wish 
for the knowledge, but Mrs. Coleridge is within a month of her 
confinement, and I cannot, I ought not to leave her ; especially as 
her surgeon is not a Jo4rn Hunter, nor my house likely to perish 
from a plethora of comforts. Besides, there are other things that 
jniofht disturb that evenness of benevolent feelincr, which I wish 
to cultivate. 

I am much better, and at present at Allfoxden, and my neW 
and tender health is all over me like a voluptuous feeling. God 
bless you, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

When the before noticed dissension occurred, Charles Lamb and 
Charles Lloyd, between w^hom a strong friendship had latterly 
sprung up, became alienated from Mr. Coleridge, and cherished 
something of an indignant feeling. Strange as it may appear, C. 
Lamb determined to desert the inglorious ground of neutrality,; 
and to commence active operations against his late friend ; but 
the arrows were taken from his own peculiar armory ; tipped,, 
not with iron, but wit. He sent Mr. Coleridge the following let-, 
ter. Mr. Coleridge gave me this letter, saying, '' These young- 
visionaries will do each other no good." The following is Charles 
Lamb's letter to Mr. C. 

THESES aUJGDAM THEOLOGiC^. 

Ist. Whether God loves a lying angel better than a true man 1 

2d. Whether the archangel Uriel could affirm an untruth, and if he could, 

whether he would *? 
3d. Whether honesty be an angelic virtue, or not rather to be reckoned 

among those qualities which the schoolmen term ' Virtutes minus 

splendida3 V 
4th. Whether the higher order of Seraphim illuminati ever sneer '? 
5th. Whether pure intelligences can love 1 



Chemical lectures, by Dr. Beddoes, delivered at the Red Lodge. 



1-28 REMINISCENCES OF 



"^ 



Cth. Whether the Seraphim ardentes do not manifest their virtues, by the 
way of vision and theory ; and whether practice be not a sub-celestial 
and merely human virtue ? 

7th. Whether the vision beatific be anything more or less than a perpetual 
rcpresentment, to each individual angel, of his own present attainments, 
and future capabilities, somehow in the manner of mortal looking- 
glasses, reflecting a perpetual complacency and self-satisfaction ? 

:Jth. and last. Whether an immortal and amenable soul may not come to be 
condemned at last, and the man never suspect it beforehand '? 

Learned Sir, my friend, 

Presuming on our long habits of friendship, and emboldened 
further by your late liberal permission to avail myself of your 
correspondence, in case I want any knowledge, (which I intend to 
do, when I have no Encyclopedia, or Ladies' Magazine at hand to 
refer to, in any matter of science,) I now submit to your inquiries 
the above theological propositions, to be by you defended or op- 
pugned, or both, in the schools of Germany, whither, I am told, 
you are departing, to the utter dissatisfaction of your native Dev- 
onshire, and regret of universal England ; but to my own indi\ddual 
consolation, if, through the channel of your wished return, learned 
sir, my friend, may be transmitted to this our island, from those 
famous theological wits of Leipsic and Gottingen, any rays of illu- 
mination, in vain to be derived from the home growth of our Eng- 
lish halls and colleges. Finally wishing, learned sir, that you 
may see Schiller, and swing in a wood, (vide poems,) and sit upon 
a tun, and eat fat hams of Westphalia, 
I remain, 
Your friend and docile pupil, to instruct, 

Charles Lamb." 

Mr. Coleridge, at first, appeared greatly hurt at this letter ; an 
impression which I endeavored to counteract, by considering it 
as a slight ebullition of feeling that would soon subside ; and which 
happily proved to be the case. I also felt concern, not only that 
there should be a dissension between old friends, but lest Mr. 
Coleridge should be inconvenienced in a pecuniary way by the 
withdrawal of C. Lloyd from his domestic roof. To restore and 
heal, therefore, I wrote a conciliatory letter to Charles Lloyd, to 
which he thus replied. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 129 

"Birmingham, '7th June, 1798. 
My dear Cottle, 

I thank you many times for your pleasing intelligence respect- 
ing Coleridge. I cannot think that I have acted with, or from, 
passion towards him. Even my solitary night thoughts have been 
easy and calm when they have dwelt on him. -^^ -^ * X love 
Coleridge, and can forget all that has happened. 

At present, I could not Avell go to Stowey. I could scarcely 
excuse so sudden a removal from my parents. Lamb quitted me 
yesterday, after a fortnight's visit. I have been much interested 
in his society. I never knew him so happy in my life. I shall 
write to Coleridge to-day. 

God bless you, my dear friend, 

C. Lloyd, Jun.'' 

Mr. C. up to this day, Feb. 18th, 1798, held, though laxly, the 
doctrines of Socinus. On the Rev. Mr. Rowe, of Shrewsbury, the 
Unitarian minister, coming to settle in Bristol, Mr. Coleridge was 
strongly recommended by his friends of that persuasion, to offer 
himself as Mr. R.'s successor; and he accordingly went on pro- 
bation to Shrewsbury. 

It is proper here to mention, in order that this subject may be 
the better understood, that Mr. Poole, two or three years before, 
had introduced Mr. Coleridge to Mr. Thomas Wedge wood. This 
gentleman formed a high opinion of Mr. C.'s talents, and felt an 
interest in his welfare. At the time Mr. Coleridge was hesitat- 
ing whether or not he should persist in offering himself to the 
Shrewsbury congregation, and so finally settle down into an Uni- 
tarian minister, Mr. T. Wedgewood having heard of the circum- 
stance, and fearing that a pastoral engagement might operate un- 
favorably on his literary pursuits, interfered, as will appear by 
the following letter of Mr. Coleridge to Mr. Wade. 

*' Stowey. 
My very dear Friend,, 

This last fortnight has been very eventful. I received one 
hundred pounds from Josiah Wedgewood, in order to prevent the 
necessity of my going into the ministry. I have received an invi- 

6'' 



130 REMINISCENCES OF 



tation from Shrewsbury, to be minister there ; and after fluctua- 
tions of mind, which have for nights together robbed me of sleep, 
and I am afraid of health, 1 have at length returned the order to 
Mr. Wedgewood, with a long letter, explanatory of my conduct, 
and accepted the Shrewsbury invitation." '-^ * 

Mr. T. Wedgewood, still adhering to his first opinion that Mr. 
Coleridge's acceptance of the proposed engagement, would seri- 
ously obstruct his literary efforts, sent Mr. C. a letter, in which 
himself and his brother, Mr. Josiah Wedgewood, promised, con- 
jointly, to allow him for his life, one hundred and fifty pounds a 
year. This decided Mr. Coleridge to reject the Shrewsbury invi- 
tation. He was oppressed with grateful emotions to these his 
liberal benefactors, and always spoke, in particular, of the late Mr. 
Thomas Wedgewood as being one of the best talkers, and as pos- 
sessing one of the acutest minds, of any man he had known. 

The following is Mr. Coleridge's hasty reply to Mr. Wedgewood. 

" Shrewsbury, Friday night, 1798. 
My dear sir, 

I have this moment received your letter, and have scarcely 
more than a moment to answer it by return of post. If kindly 
feeling can be repaid by kindly feeling, I am not your debtor. I 
would wish to express the same thing which is big at my heart, 
but I know not how to do it without indelicacy. As much ab- 
stracted from personal feeling as possible, I honor and esteem you 
foi* that which you have done. 

I must of necessity stay here till the close of Sunday next. On 
Monday morning I shall leave it, and on Tuesday Avill be with 
you at Cote-House. 

Very affectionately yours, 
T. Wedgewood, Esq. S. T. Coleridge." 

While the affair was in suspense, a report was current in Bristol, 
that Mr. Coleridge had rejected the Messrs. Wedgewoods' ofler, 
which the Unitarians in both towns ardently desired. Entertain- 
ing a contrary wish, I addressed a letter to Mr. C. stating the 
report, and expressing a hope that it had no foundation. The fol- 
lowing satisfactory answer was immediately returned. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 131 

" My very dear Cottle, 

The moment I received Mr. T. WedgeAvood's letter, I accepted 

his offer. How a contrary report could arise, I cannot guess. ■* * * 

I hope to see you at the close of next week. I have been 

respectfully and kindly treated at Shrewsbury. I am well, and 

now, and ever, 

Your grateful and affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge.'^ 

In the year 1798, Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Wordsworth determined 
upon visiting Germany. A knowledge of this fact will elucidate 
some of the succeeding letters, 

'^Feb. 18, 1798. 
My dear Cottle, 

I have finished my Ballad, it is 340 lines ; I am going on with 
my ' Visions' ; altogether (for I shall print two scenes of my 
Tragedy, as fragments) I can add 1500 lines; now what do you 
advise ? Shall I add my Tragedy, and so make a second volume ? 
or shall I pursue my first intention of inserting 1500 in the third 
edition ? If you should advise a second volume, should you Vish, 
i. e. find it convenient, to be the purchaser ? I ask this question, 
because I wish you to know the true state of my present circum- 
stances. I have received nothing yet from the Wedgewoods, and 
my money is utterly expended. 

A friend of mine wanted five guineas for a little while, which I 
borrowed of Poole, as for myself, \ do not like therefore to apply 
to him. Mr. Estlin has some little money I believe in his hands, 
but I received from him before I went to Shrewsbury, fifteen 
pounds, and I believe that this was an anticipation of the five 
guinea presents, which my friends would have made in March. 
But (this affair of the Messrs. Wedgewoods turning out) the 
money in Mr. Estlin's hand must go towards repaying him that 
sum which he suffered me to anticipate. Meantime I owe Biggs 
£5, which is heavy on my thoughts, and Mrs. F. has not been 
paid her last quarter which is still heavier. As to myself, I can 
continue to go on here, but this £10 I must pay somehow, that is 
£5 to Biggs, and £5 to Mrs. F. * * * 

God bless you, S. T. Coleridge." 



132 REMINISCENCES OF 

P. S. This week I purpose offering myself to the Bridgewater 
Socinian congregation, as assistant minister, without any salary, 
directly or indirectly ; but of this say not a word to any one, 
unless you see Mr. Estlin." 

A visit to Mr. Coleridge at Stowey, had been the means of my 
introduction to Mr. Wordsworth, who read me many of his Lyrical 
Pieces, when I immediately perceived in them extraordinary merit, 
and advised him to publish them, expressing a belief that they 
would be well received. I further said he should be at no risk ; 
that I would give him the same sum which I had given to Mr. 
Coleridge and to Mr. Southey, and that it would be a gratifying 
circumstance to me, to have been the publisher of the first 
volumes of three such poets, as Southey, Coleridge, and Words- 
worth ; such a distinction might never again occur to a provincial 
bookseller. 

To the idea of publishing he expressed a strong objection, and 
after several interviews, I left him, with an earnest wish that he 
would reconsider his determination. 

Soon after Mr Wordsworth sent me the following letter. 

• 

'^ Allfoxden, 12th April, 1Y98. 
My dear Cottle, 

* ¥r ¥r You will be pleased to hear that I have gone on 
very rapidly adding to my stock of poetry. Do come and let me 
read it to you under the old trees in the park. We have a little 
more than two months to stay in this place. Within these four 
days the season has advanced with greater rapidity than I ever 
remember, and the country becomes almost every hour more 
lovely. God bless you, 

Your affectionate friend, 

W. Wordsworth." 

A little time after, I received an invitation from Mr. Coleridge 
to pay himself and Mr. Wordsworth another visit. At about the 
same time, I received the following corroborative invitation from 
Mr. Wordsworth. 

" Dear Cottle, 

We look for you with great impatience. We will never forgive 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEV. 133 

you if you do not come. I say nothing of the ' SaUsbury Plain' 
till I see you. I am determined to finish it, and equally so that 
you shall publish. 

I have lately been busy about another plan, which I do not 
wish to mention till I see you ; let this be very, very soon, and 
stay a week if possible ; as much longer as you can. God bless 
you, dear Cottle, 

Yours sincerely, 

W. Wordsworth. 

Allfoxden, 9th May, 1798." 

The following letter also on this subject, was received from Mr. 
Coleridge. 

" My dear Cottle, 

Neither Wordsworth nor myself could have been otherwise 
than uncomfortable, if any but yourself had received from us the 
first offer of our Tragedies, and of the volume of Wordsworth's 
Poems. At the same time, we did not expect that you could, 
with prudence and propriety, advance such a sum as we should 
want at the time we specified. In short, we both regard the 
publication of our Tragedies as an evil. It is not impossible but 
that in happier times, they may be brought on the stage : and to 
throw away this chance for a mere trifle, would be to make the 
present moment act fraudulently and usuriously towards the 
future time. 

My Tragedy employed and strained all my thoughts and fac- 
ulties for six or seven months ; Y>^ordsworth consumed far more 
time, and far more thought, and far more genius. We consider 
the publication of them an evil on any terms ; but our thoughts 
were bent on a plan for the accomplishment of which, a certain 
sum of money was necessary, (the whole,) at that particular time, 
and in order to this we resolved, although reluctantly, to part 
with our Tragedies : that is, if we could obtain thirty guineas for 
each, and at less than thirty guineas Wordsworth will not part 
with the copy-right of his volume of Poems. We shall oflfer the 
Tragedies to no one, for we have determined to procure the money 
some other way. If you choose the volume of Poems, at the 



134 REMINISCENCES OF 



price mentioned, to be paid at the time specified, i. e. thirty- 
guineas, to be paid sometime in the last fortnight of July, you 
may have them ; but remember, my dear fellow ! I write to you 
now merely as a bookseller, and entreat you, in your answer, to 
consider yourself ^ only ; as to us, although money is necessary to 
our plan, [that of visiting Germany,] yet the plan is not necessary 
to our happiness ; and if it were, W. could sell his Poems for that 
sum to some one else, or we could procure the money without 
selling the Poems. So I entreat you, again and again, in your 
answer, which must be immediate, consider yourself only. 

Wordsworth has been caballed against so long and so loudly , 
that he has found it impossible to prevail on the tenant of the 
Allfoxden estate, to let him the house, after their first agreement 
is expired, so he must quit it at Midsummer ; whether we shall be 
able to procure him a house and furniture near Stowey, we know 
not, and yet we must : for the hills, and the woods, and the 
streams, and the sea, and the shores, w^ould break forth into re- 
proaches against us, if we did not strain every nerve, to keep 
their poet among them. Without joking, and in serious sadness, 
Poole and I cannot endure to think of losing him. 

At all events, come down, Cottle, as soon as you can, but be- 
fore Midsummer, and we will procure a horse easy as thy own 
soul, and we will go on a roam to Linton and Limouth, which, if 
thou comest in May, will be in all their pride of woods and water- 
falls, not to speak of its august cliffs, and the green ooean, and 
the vast Yalley of Stones, all w^hich live disdainful of the seasons, 
or accept new honors only from the winter's snow. At all events 
come doAvn, and cease not to believe me much and afi*ectionately 
your friend, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

In consequence of these conjoint invitations, I spent a week 
with Mr. C. and Mr. W. at Allfoxden house, and during this time 
(beside the reading of MS. poems) they took me to Limouth, and 
Linton, and the Valley of Stones. This beautiful and august 
scenery, might suggest many remarks, as well as on our incidents 
upon the way, but I check the disposition to amplify, from recol- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 135 



lecting the extent to which an unconstrained indulgence in narra- 
tive had formerly led me, in the affair of Tintern Abbey. 

At this interview it was determined, that the volume should be 
published under the title of " Lyrical ballads," on the terms stipu- 
lated in a former letter : that this volume should not contain the 
poem of " Salisbmy Plain," but only an extract from it ; that it 
should not contain the poem of "Peter Bell," but consist rather 
of sundry shorter poems, and, for the most part, of pieces more 
recently written. I had recommended two volumes, but one was 
fixed on, and that to be published anonymously. It was to be 
begun ^immediately, and with the " Ancient Mariner ;" which 
poem I brought with me to Bristol. A day or two after I re- 
ceived the following. 

" My dear Cottle, 

You know what I think of a letter. How impossible it is to 
argue in itf You must therefore take simple statements, and in 
a week or two, I shall see you, and endeavor to reason v,^ith you. 

Wordsworth and I have duly weighed your proposal, and this 
is an answer. He would not object to the publishing of 'Peter 
Bell,' or the ' Salisbury Plain' singly ; but to the publishing of 
his poems in two volumes, he is decisively repugnant and oppug- 
nant. 

He deems that they would want variety, &c., (fee. If this ap- 
ply in his case, it applies with tenfold more force to mine. We 
deem that the volumes offered to you, are, to a certain degree, 
one work in kind, though not in degree, as an ode is one work ; 
and that our different poems are, as stanzas, good, relatively 
rather than absolutely : mark you, I say in kind, though not in 
degree. As to the Tragedy, when I consider it in reference to 
Shakspeare's, and to one other Tragedy, it seems a poor thing, 
and I care little what becomes of it. When I consider it in com- 
parison with modern dramatists, it rises : and I think it too bad 
to be published, too good to be squandered. I think of breaking 
it up ; the planks are sound, and I wiU build a new ship of the 
old materials. 

The dedication to the Wedgewoods, which you recommend, 
would be indelicate and unmeaning. If, after four or five years, 



136 ' REMINISCENCES OF 



I shall have finished some Avork of importance, which could not 
have been written, but in an unanxious seclusion, to them I will 
dedicate it ; for the public Avill have owed the work to them who 
gave me the power of that unanxious seclusion. 

As to anonymous publications, depend on it, you are deceived. 
Wordsworth's name is nothing to a large number of persons; 
mine stinks. The ' Essay on Man,' the * Botanic Garden,' the 
'Pleasures of Memory,' and many other most popular works, 
were published anonymously. However, I waive all reasoning, 
and simply state it as an unaltered opinion, that you should pro- 
ceed as before, with the ' Ancient Mariner.' 

The picture shall be sent.* For your love gifts and book-loans 
accept our hearty love. The ' Joan of Arc' is a divine book ; it 
opens lovelily. I hope that you will take off some half dozen of 
our Poems on great paper, even as the ' Joan of x\rc.' 

Cottle, my dear Cottle, I meant to have written you an Essay 
on the Metaphysics of Typography, but I have not tfhie. Take 
a few hints, without the abstruse reasons for them, with which I 
mean to favor you. 18 lines in a page, the line closely printed, 
certainly more closely printed than those of the ' Joan ;'f (' Oh, by 
all means, closer, W. Wordsworth',) equal ink, and large margins , 
that is beauty ; it may even, under your immediate care, mingle the 
sublime ! And now, my dear Cottle, may God love you and me, 
who am, with most unauthorish feelings. 

Your true friend, S. T. Coleridofe. 

p. S. I walked to Linton the day after you left us, and re- 
turned on Saturday. I walked in one day, and returned in one.'* 

A reference is made by Mr. Coleridge, in a letter (p. Ill) to 
the " caballing, long and loud," against Mr. Wordsworth, and 
which occasioned him to remove from Somersetshire. To leani 
the nature of this annoyance, may furnish some little amusement 
to the reader, while Mr. W. himself will only smile at trifling in- 
cidents, that are now, perhaps, scarcely remembered. 

* A portrait of Mr. Wordsworth, correctly and beautifully executed, by an 
artist then at Stowey; now in my possession. 

t Joan of Arc, 4to. first edition, had twenty lines in a page. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 137 



Mr. W. had taken the Allfoxden House, near Stowey, for one 
year (during the minority of the heir) and the reason why he was 
refused a continuance, by the ignorant man who had the letting 
of it, arose, as Mr. Coleridge informed me, from a whimsical 
cause, or rather a series of causes. The wiseacres of the village 
had, it seemed, made Mr. W. the subject of their serious conver- 
sation. One said that '' He had seen him wander about by night, 
and look rather strangely at the moon ! and then, he roamed over 
the hills, like a partridge." Another said, " He had heard him 
mutter, as he walked, in soi^ie outlandish brogue, that nobody 
could understand !" Another said, * It's useless to talk, Thomas, 
I think he is vrhat people call a ^ wise man.' " (a conjuror !) An- 
other said, " You are every one of you wrong. I know Avhat he 
is. We have all met him, tramping away towards the sea. 
Would any man in his senses, take all that trouble to look at a 
parcel of water ? I think he carries on a snug business in the 
smuggling line, and, in these journeys, is on the look-out for some 
wet cargo !" Another very significantly said, " I know that he 
has got a private still in his cellar, for I once passed his house, 
at a little better than a hundi'ed 3'ards distance, and I could smell 
the spirits, as plain as an ashen fagot at Christmas !" Another 
said, " However that was, he is surety a desperd French jacobin, 
for he is so silent and dark, that nobody ever heard him say one 
Avord about pohtics !" And thus these ignoramuses drove from 
their village, a greater ornament than will ever again be found 
amongst them. 

In order to continue the smile on the reader's countenance, I 
may be allowed to state a trifling circumstance, which at this 
moment forces itself on my recollection. 

A visit to Mr. Coleridge, at Stowey, in the year 1Y97, had 
been the means of my introduction to Mr. Wordsworth. Soon after 
our acquaintance had commenced, Mr. W. happened to be in 
Bristol, and asked nae to spend a day or two with him at Allfox- 
den. I consented, and drove him down in a gig. We called for 
Mr. Coleridge, Miss Wordsworth, and the servant, at Stowey, and 
they walked, while v/e rode on to Mr. W.'s house at Allfoxden, 
distant two or three miles, where we purposed to dine. A Lon- 
don alderman would smile at our preparation, or bill of fare. It 



138 REMINISCENCES OF 



consisted of philosophers' viands ; namely, a bottle of brandy, a 
noble loaf, and a stout piece of cheese ; and as there were plenty 
of lettuces in the g-arden, with all these comforts we calculated 
on doing very well. 

Our fond hopes, however, were somewhat damped, by finding, 
that our '' slout piece of cheese" had vanished ! A sturdy rat of a 
beggar, whom we had relieved on the road, with his olfactories 
all alive, no doubt, smelt our cheese, and while we were gazing 
at the magnificent clouds% contrived to abstract our treasure ! 
Cruel tramp ! An ill return for owr pence ! We both wished 
the rind might not choke him ! The mournful fact vras ascer- 
tained a little before we drove into the court-yard of the bouse. 
Mr. Coleridge bore the loss with great fortitude, observing, that 
Ave should never starve with a loaf of bread, and a bottle of 
brandy. He now, with the dexterity of an adept, admired by his 
friends around, unbuckled the horse, and, putting down the shafts 
with a jerk, as a triumphant conclusion of his work, lo ! the bottie 
of brandy that had been placed most carefully behind us on tb^ 
seat, from the force of gravity, suddenly rolled down, and before 
we could arrest tliis spirituous avalanche, pitching right on the 
stones, was dashed to pieces. Yfe all beheld the spectacle, silent 
and petrified ! Y/e might have collected the broken fragments 
of glass, but the brandy ! that was gone ! clean gone !'*^ 

One little untoward thing often foUovrs another, and while the 
rest stood musing, chained to the place, regahng themselves with 
the Cogniac efHuvium, and all miserably chagrined, I led the 
horse to the stable, when a fresh perplexity arose. I removed 
the harness without dilHculty, but after many strenuous attempts, 
I could not get off the collar. In despair, I called for assistance, 
when aid soon drew near. Mr. V/ordsworth first brought his in- 
genuity into exercise, but after several unsuccessful efforts, he 
relinquished the achievement, as a thing altogether impracticable. 
Mr. Coleridge now tried his hand, but showed no more grooming 
skill than his predecessors f for after twisting the poor horse's 
neck almost to strangulation, and to the great danger of his eyes, 
he gave up the useless task, pronouncing that the horse's head 

* Did the report of the " still," in the former page, originate in this broken 
bottle of brandy 7 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEV. 139 

must have grown, (gout or dropsy !) since the collar was put on ! 
for, he said, it was a downright impossibility for such a huge Os 
Frontis to pass through so narrow a collar ! Just at this instant 
the servant girl came near, and understanding the cause of our 
consternation, "La, Master," said she, "you do not go about the 
work in the right way. You should do like as this," when turning 
the collar completely upside down, she slipped it off in a moment, 
to our great humiliation and wonderment ; each satisfied, afresh, 
that there were heights of knowledge in the world, to which we 
had not yet attained. 

We were now summoned to dinner, and a dinner it vfas, such 
as ever}^ blind and starving man in the three kingdoms would have 
rejoiced to hehold. At the top of the table stood a superb brown 
loaf. The centre dish presented a pile of the true coss lettuces, 
and at the bottom appeared an empty plate, where the " stout 
piece of cheese !" ought to have stood, (cruel mendicant !) and 
though the brandy was " clean gone," yet its place w^as v/ell, if 
not better supplied by an abundance of fine sparkling Castalian 
champagne ! A happy thought at this time started into one of 
our minds, that some condiment would render the lettuces a little 
more palatable, wlien an individual in the company, recollected a 
question once propounded by the most patient of men, " How 
can that which is unsavory be eaten without saltT'' and asked 
for a little of that valuable culinary article. " Indeed, sir," Betty 
replied, " I quite forgot to buy salt." A general laugh followed 
the announcement, in which our host heartily joined. This was 
nothing. We had plenty of other good things, and v/hile crunch- 
ing our succulents, and munching our crusts, we pitied the far 
worse condition of those, perchance as hungry as ourselves, who 
were forced to dine off ether alone. For our next meal, the 
mile-off village furnished all that could be desired, and these 
trifling incidents present the sum and the result of half the little 
passing disasters of life. 

The "Lyrical Ballads" were published about Midsummer, 1798. 
In September of the same year, Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Words- 
worth left England for Germany, and I quitted the business of a 
bookseller. Had I not once been such, this book would never 
have appeared. 



140 REMINISCENCES OF 

The narrative of Mr. Coleridge being concluded to the time 
when he left Bristol, with Mr. Wordsworth, to visit Germany, I 
shall now for the present leave him ; and direct the reader's at- 
tention to Mr. Southey, by introducing a portion of his. long-con- 
tinued correspondence w^ith myself ; but it may not be inappro- 
priate to offer a few preliminary remarks : — 

The following letters will exhibit the genuine character of Mr. 
Southey tlirough the whole of his literary life. In the earlier 
periods, a playful hilarity will be found ; but this buoyancy of 
spirit, when prevailing to excess, (in the constitutionally cheerful, 
such as was Mr. S.,) is generally modified, if not subdued, by the 
sobering occurrences of after life. Letters, like the present, pos- 
sess some peculiar advantages. Whenever, as in this instance, 
epistles are written through a series of years, to one person, the 
writer's mind is presented, under different aspects, while the iden- 
tity is preserved. This benefit is greatly diminished, when, in a 
promiscuous correspondence, letters are addressed to a diversity 
of persons ; often of different habits, and pursuits, where the 
writer must be compelled, occasionally, to moderate his expres- 
sions ; to submit in some measure to mental restraint, by the ne- 
cessity he is under to curb the flow of his spontaneous feeling. 
Besides this freedom from comparative bondage, one other advan- 
tage is derived from these continuous and unconstrained letters 
to a single friend. A writer, in all his letters, from addressing 
one, for the most part, of congenial sympathies, expresses himself 
with less reserve ; with more of the interior poured out ; and 
consequently he maintains a freedom from that formality of essay- 
like sentences, which often resemble beautiful statues, fair, but 
cold and wanting life. 

When, during the Revolutionary vrar, disgusted with the ex- 
cesses of the French, Mr. Southey saw it right, from a Foxite, to 
become a Pittite, some w^ho did not know him, ascribed his 
change of sentiment to unworthy motives ; of this number was 
my esteemed friend the late Rev. John Foster, who whilst freely 
admitting Mr. Southey 's great attainments and distinguished 
genius, regarded his mind as injuriously biased. He thought him 
a betrayer of his political friends. No countervailing effect was 
produced by affirming his uprightness, and the temperance with 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 141 

which he still spake of those from whom he was compelled to 
differ. He was told that Mr. Southey was no blind political par- 
tisan, but an honest vindicator of what, in his conscience, he be- 
lieved to be right — that no earthly consideration could have 
tempted him to swerve from the plain paths of truth and justice. 
An appeal was made to his writings, which manifested great 
moderation : and as it respected the Church, the London, and 
the Baptist Missionary Societies, it might be said, that he cour- 
ageously stood forth to vindicate them in the Quarterly, at a criti- 
cal time, when those Societies had been assailed by Sydney Smith, 
in the Edinburgh Review. All proved unavailing. At length I 
submitted to Mr. Foster's inspection, Mr. Southey's correspond- 
ence for more than forty years, where, in the disclosure of the 
heart's deepest recesses, the undisguised character distinctly ap- 
pears. He read, he admired, he recanted. In a letter to myself 
on returning the MS. he thus wrote : " The letters exhibit Southey 
as a man of sterling worth, — of sound principles ; — faithfulness 
to old friendship, generosity, and, I trust I may say, genuine 
rehgion." And Mr. F. ever after expressed the same senti- 
ments to his friends. It is confidently hoped that similar in- 
stances of unfavorable prepossession, may be corrected by the 
same means. 

In his "Friend" Mr. Coleridge thus refers to his early schemes 
of Pantisocracy. 

" Truth I pursued, as fancy led the way, 
And wiser men than I went worse astray." 

'' From my earhest manhood I perceived that if the people at large were 
neither ignorant nor immoral, there could be no motive for a sudden and 
violent change of Government ; and if they were, there could be no hope but 
a change for the worse. My feehngs and imagination did not remain un- 
kindled in this general conflagration (the French Revolution) and I confess I 
should be more inclined to be ashamed than proud of myself if they had. I 
was a sharer in the general vortex, though my little world described the path 
of its revolution in an orbit of its own. What I dared not expect from con- 
stitutions of Government and whole nations, I hoped from religion, and a 
small company of chosen individuals, formed a plan, as harmless as it was 
extravagant, of trying the experiment of human perfectibility on the banks 
of the Susquehannah ; where our httle society, in its second generation, was 
to have combined the innocence of the patriarchal age with the knowledge 
and genuine refinements of European culture ; and where I dreamt that in 



142 REMINISCENCES OF 



the sober evening of my life, I should behold the cottages of Independence in 
the undivided dale of liberty, 

' And oft, soothed sadly by the dirgeful wind, 
Muse on the sore ills I had left behind.' 

Strange fancies ! and as vain as strange ! Yet to the intense interest and 
impassioned zeal, which called forth and strained every faculty of my intellect 
for the organization and defence of this scheme, I owe much of whatever I 
at present possess, — my clearest insight into the nature of individual man, 
and my most comprehensive views of his social relations, of the true uses of 
trade and commerce, and how far the v/ealth and relative power of nations 
promote or impede their inherent strength." 

The following is Mr. Coleridge's estimate of Mr. Southey. 

" Soulhey stands second to no man, either as an historian or as a biblio- 
grapher ; and when I regard him as a popular essayist, I look in vain for any 
writer who has conveyed so much information, from so many and such re- 
condite sources, with so many just and original relltctions, in a style so lively 
and poignant, yet so uniformly classical and perspicuous ; no one, in short, 
who has combined so much wisdom with so much wit ; so much truth and 
knowledge with so much life and fancy. His prose is always intelligible, and 
always entertaining. It is Southey's almost unexampled felicity, to possess 
the best gifts of talent and genius, free from all their characteristic defects. As 
son, brother, husband, father, master, friend, he moves with firm yet light 
steps, alike unostentatious, and alike exemplary. As a writer he has uni- 
formly made his talents subservient to the best interests of humanity, of public 
virtue, and domestic piety ; his cause has ever been the cause of pure religion 
and of liberty, of national independence, and of national illumination." — 
Bio. Lit. 

The reader has several times heard of Pantisocracy ; a scheme 
perfectly harmless in itself, though obnoxious to insuperable ob- 
jections. The ingenious devisers of this state of society, grad- 
ually withdrew from it their confidence ; not in the first instance 
without a struggle ; but cool reflection presented so many obsta- 
cles, that the plan, of itself, as the understanding expanded, grad- 
.ually dissolved into "thin air." A friend had suggested the 
expediency of first trying the plan in Wales, but even this less ex- 
ceptionable theatre of experiment was soon abandoned, and sound 
sense obtained its rightful empire. 

It was mentioned in a former part, that Mr. Southey was the 
first to abandon the scheme of American colonization ; and that, 
in confirmation, towards the conclusion of 1795, he accompanied 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 143 

his uncle, tlie Rev. Herbert Hill, Chaplain to the English factory 
at Lisbon, through some parts of Spain and Portugal ; of which 
occurrence, Mr. S.'s entertaining '^ Letters" from those countries 
are the result ; bearing testimony to his rapid accumulation of 
facts, and the accuracy of his observations on persons and things. 
The very morning on which Mr. Southey was married to Miss 
Edith Fricker,"^ he left his wife in the family of kind friends, and 
set off with his uncle, to pass through Spain to Lisbon. But 
this procedure marks the delicacy and the noble character of his 
mind ; as v/ill appear from the following letter, received from him, 
just before he embarked. 

^^ Falmouth, 1795. 
My dear Friend, 

I have learnt from Lovell the news from Bristol, public and 
private, and both of an interesting nature. My marriage is be- 
come public. You know that its publicity can give me no con- 
cern. I have done my duty. Perhaps you may think my mo- 
tives for marrying (at that time) not sufficiently strong. One, 
and that to me of great weight, I believe was not mentioned to 
you. There might have arisen feelings of an unpleasant nature, 
at the idea of receiving support from one not legally a husband ; 
and (do not show this to Edith) should I perish by shipwreck, or 
any other casualty, I have relations whose prejudices would then 
yield to the anguish of affection, and who would then love and 
cherish, and yield all possible consolation to my widow. Of 
such an evil there is but a possibility, but against possibility it 
was my duty to guard. f FarevvelL 

Yours sincerely, 
Robert Southey.'' 

* " Robert Southey and Edith Fricker were married, in St. Mary Redcliffe 
Church, in the city of Bristol, the 14th day of November, 1795, as appears by 
the Register of the parish. George Campbell, Curate. 

Witnesses — .Joseph Cottle, 
Sarah Cottle." 

t At the instant Mr. Southey was about to set off on his travels, T observed 
he had no stick, and lent him a stout holly of my own. In the next year, on 
bis return to Bristol, '' Here," said Mr. S., " Here is the holly you were kind 
enough to lend me !" — I have since then looked with additional respect on my 



144 REMINISCENCES OF 

Mr. Southey having sent me two letters from the Peninsula, 
they are here presented to the reader. 

'^ Corunna, Dec. loth, 1795. 

Indeed, my dear friend, it is strange that you are reading a 
letter from me now, and not an account of our shipwreck. We 
left Falmouth on Tuesday mid-day ; the wind was fair till the next 
night, so fair tliat we were within twelve hours' sail of Corunna; 
it then turned round, blew a tempest, and continued so till the 
middle of Saturday. Our dead lights were up fifty hours, and I 
was in momentary expectation of death. You know what a situ- 
ation this is. I forgot my sickness, and though I thought much 
of the next world, thought more of those at Bristol, who would 
daily expect letters ; daily be disappointed, and at last learn from 
the newspapers, that the Lauzarotte had never been heard of. 

Of all things it is most difficult to understand the optimism of 
this difference of language ; the very beasts of the country do not 
understand English. Say ^' poor fellow" to a dog, and he will 
probably bite you ; the cat will come if you call her '^ Meeth-tha," 
but '' puss" is an outlandish phrase she has not been accustomed 
to ; last night I went to supper to the fleas, and an excellent sup- 
per they made ; and the cats serenaded me with their execrable 
Spanish: to lie all night in Boivling- Green- Lane, ^ would be to 
enjoy the luxury of soft and smooth lying. 

At sight of land a general shaving took place ; no subject could 
be better for Bunbury than a Packet cabin taken at such a mo- 
ment. For me, I am as yet whiskered, for I would not venture 
to shave on board, and have had no razor on shore till this even^ 
ing. Custom-house officers are more troublesome here than in 
England ; I have, however, got everything at last ; you may form 

old igneous traveller, and remitted a portion of his accustomed labor. It was 
a source of some amusement, when, in November of 1836, Mr. Southey, in his 
journey (o the West, to my great gratification, spent a few days with me, and 
in talking of Spain and Portugal, I showed him his companion, the Old Holly ! 
Though liomcwhat bent with age, the servant (after an interval of forty years) 
was immediately recognized by his master, and with an additional interest, as 
this stick, he thought, on one occasion, had been the meanfe of saving his 
pui-se, if not his life, from the sight of so efficient an instrument of defence 
having intimidated a Spanish robber. 
♦ See page 24. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 145 

some idea of the weather we endured ; thirty fowls over our head 
were drowned ; the ducks got loose, and ran with a party of half- 
naked Dutchmen into our cabin ; 'twas a precious place, eight 
men lying on a shelf much like a coffin. Mr. Wahrendoff, a Swede, 
was the whole time with the bason close under his nose. 

The bookseller's shop was a great comfort ; the Consul here 
has paid me particular attentions, and I am to pass to-morrow 
morning with him, when he will give me some directions concern- 
ing Spanish literature. He knows the chief literary men in Eng- 
land, and did know Brissot and Petion. Of the dramatic poet 
whom Coates's friend Zimbernatt mentioned as rivalling Shakspeare, 
I hear nothing ; that young Spaniard seems to exaggerate or rather 
to represent things like a warm-hearted young man, who believes 
what he wishes. The father-in-law of Tallien is a banker, w^hat 
you call a clever fellow ; another word, says the most sensible man 
here, for a cheat ; the court and the clergy mutually support each 
other, and their combined despotism is indeed dreadful, yet much 
is doing ; Jardine is very active ; he has forwarded the establish- 
ment of schools in the Asturias vv'ith his Spanish fiiends. Good 
night, they are going to supper. Oh, their foul oils and wines ! 

Tuesday morning. I have heard of hearts as hard as rocks, 
and stones, and adamants, but if ever I write upon a hard heart, 
my simile shall be, as inflexible as a bed in a Spanish Posada ; we 
had beef-steaks for supper last night, and a sad libel upon beef- 
steaks they were. I wish you could see our room ; a bed in an 
open recess, one just moved from the other corner. Raynsford 
packing his trunk; Maber shaving himself; tables and chairs; 
looking-glass hung too high even for a Patagonian, the four evan- 
gelists, &c., &c., the floor beyond all filth, most filthy. 

I have been detained two hours since I began to write, at the 
custom-house. Mr. Cottle, if there be a custom-house to pass 
through, to the infernal regions, all beyond must be, compara- 
tively, tolerable. * ^ * 

Adieu, 

Robert Southey.'* 

"Lisbon, February 1st, 1Y96. 
* Certainly, I shall hear from Mr. Cottle, by the first packet/ 

1 



146 REMINISCENCES OF 



said I. Now I say, * probably I may hear by the next/ so does 
experience abate the sanguine expectations of man. What, could ' 
you not ATOte one letter ? and here am I writing not only to all 
my friends in Bristol, but to all in England. Indeed, I should 
have been veied, but that the packet brought a letter from Edith, 
and the pleasure that gave me, allowed no feeling of vexation. 
What of 'Joan?' Mr. Coates tells me it gains upon the public, 
but authors seldom hear the plain trutli. I am anxious that it 
should reach a second edition, that I may write a new preface, 
and enlarge the last book. I shall omit all in the second book 
which Colerido-e v/rote. 

o 

Bristol deserves panegyric instead of satire. I know of no mer- 
cantile place so literary. Kere I am among the Philistines, spend- 
ing my m.ornings so pleasantly, as books, only books can make 
them, and sitting at evening the silent spectator of card -playing 
and dancing. The English here unite the. spirit of commerce with 
the frivolous amusements of high life. One of them, who plays 
every night (Sundays are not excepted here) will tell you how 
closely he attends to profit. ' I never pay a porter for bringing 
a burthen till the next da}^' says he, ' for while the fellow feels 
his back ache with the weio-ht, he charg^es hio-h : but when he I 
comes the next day the feeling is gone, and he asks only half the 
money.' And the author of this philosophical scheme is worth 
£200,000! ' 

This is a comfortless place, and the only pleasure I find in it, 
is in looking on to my departure. Three years ago I might have 
found a friend. Count Leopold Berchtold. This man (foster bro- 
ther of the Emperor Joseph) is one of those rare characters, who 
spend their lives in doing good. It is liis custom in every country 
he visits, to publish books in its language, on some subject of prac- 
tical utility ; these he gave away. I have now lying before me 
the two which he printed in Lisbon ; the one is an Essay on the 
means of preserving life, in the various dangers to which men are 
daily exposed. The other an Essay on extending the limits of benev- 
olence, not only towards men, but towards animals. His age was 
about twenty-five ; his person and his manners the most polished. 
My uncle saw more of him than any one, for he used his library ; 
and this was the only house he called at ; he was only seen at 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 147 

dinner, the rest of the day was constantly given to study. They 
who Kved in the same house with him, beUeved him to be the 
wandering Jew. He spoke all the European languages, had writ- 
ten in all, and was master of the Arabic. From thence he went 
to Cadiz, and thence to Barbary ; no more is known of him. 

We felt a smart earthquake the morning after our arrival here. 
These shocks alarm the Portuguese dreadfully ; and indeed it is the 
most terrifying sensation you can conceive. One man jumped 
out of bed and ran down to the stable, to ride off almost naked 
as he was. Another, more considerately put out his candle, * be- 
cause I know,' said he, 'the fire does more harm than the earth- 
quake.' The ruins of the great earthquake are not yet removed 
entirely. 

The city is a curious place ; a straggling plan ; built on the 
most uneven ground, with heaps of ruins in the middle, and large 
open places. The streets filthy beyond all English ideas of filth, 
for they throw everything into the streets, and nothing is removed. 
Dead animals annoy you at every corner ; and such is the indo- 
lence and nastiness of the Portuguese, that I verily believe they 
would let each other rot in the same manner, if the priests did 
notn|et something by burying them. Some of the friars are vowed 
to wear their clothes without changing for a year ; and this is 
a comfort to them : you will not wonder, therefore, that I always 
keep to the windward of these reverend perfumers. 

The streets are very disagreeable in wet weather. If you walk 
under the houses you are drenched by the water-spouts ; if you 
attempt the middle, there is a river ; if you would go between 
both, there is the dunghill. The rains here are very violent, and 
the streams in the streets, on a declivity, so rapid as to throw 
down men, and sometimes to overset carriages. A woman was 
drowned some years ago in one of the most frequented streets 
of Lisbon. But to walk home at night is the most dangerous 
adventure, for then the chambermaids shower out the filth into 
the streets with such profusion, that a Scotchman might fancy 
himself at Edinburgh. You cannot conceive what a cold per- 
spiration it puts me in, to hear one dashed down just before me ; 
as Thomson says, with a little alteration : 



148 REMINISCENCES OF 

" Hear nightly dashed, amid the perilous street, 
The fragrant stink pot." 

This furnishes food for innumerable dogs, that belong to nobody, 
and annoy everybody. If they did not devour it, the quantities 
would breed a pestilence. In a moonlight night, we see dogs and 
rats feeding at the same dunghill. 

Lisbon is plagued with a very small species of red ant, tliat 
swarm over everything in the house. Their remedy for this is, 
to send for the priest, and exorcise them. The drain from the 
new convent opens into the middle of the street. An Enghsh 
pigsty is cleaner than the metropolis of Portugal. 

To-night I shall see the procession of * Our Lord of the Pas- 
sion.' This image is a very celebrated one, and with great rea- 
son, for one night he knocked at the door of St. Roque's church, 
and there they would not admit him. After this he walked to 
the other end of the town, to the church of St. Grace, and there 
they took him in ; but a dispute now arose between the two 
churches, to which the image belonged ; whether to the church 
which he first chose, or the church that first chose him. The 
matter was compromised. One church has him, and the other 
fetches him for their processions, and he sleeps with the l|/:ter 
the night preceding. The better mode for deciding it, had been 
to place the gentleman between both, and let him walk to which 
he liked best. What think you of this story being believed in 
1796!!! 

The power of the Inquisition stiU exists, though they never ex- 
ercise it, and thus the Jews save their bacon. Fifty years ago it 
was the greatest delight of the Portuguese to see a Jew burnt. 
Geddes, the then chaplain, was present at one of these detestable 
Auto da Fe's. He says, ' the transports expressed by all ages, 
and all sexes, whilst the miserable sufferers were shrieking and beg- 
ging mercy for God's sake, formed a scene more horrible than any 
out of hell !' He adds, that ' this barbarity is not their national 
character, for no people sympathize so much at the execution of 
a criminal ; but it is the damnable nature of their religion, and 
the most diabolical spirit of their priests ; their celibacy deprives 
them of the affections of men, and their creed gives- them the fe- 
rocity of devils.' Geddes saw one man gagged, because, immedi- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 149 

ately he came out of the Inquisition gates, he looked up at the 
sun, whose light for many years had never visited him, and ex- 
claimed, ' How is it possible for men who behold that glorious orb, 
to worship any being but Him who created it! ' My blood runs 
cold when I pass that accursed building ; and though they do 
not exercise their power, it is a reproach to human nature that 
the building should exist. 

It is as warm here as in May with you ; of course we broil in 
that month at Lisbon ; but I shall escape the hot weather here, 
as I did the cold w^eather of England, and quit this place the lat- 
ter end of April. You will of course see me the third day after 
my landing at Falmouth, or, if I can get companions in a post- 
chaise, sooner. This my resolution is hke the law of the Medes 
and Persians, that altereth not. Be so good as to procure for me 
a set of Coleridge's 'Watchman,' w^ith his Lectures and Poems. 
I want to write a tragedy here, but can find no leisure to begin it. 

Portugal is much plagued w4th robbers, and they generally 
strip a man and leave him to walk home in his birth-day suit. 
An Englishman was served thus at Almeyda, and the Lisbon mag- 
istrates, on his complaint, took up the w^hole village and impris- 
oned them all. Contemplate this people in what light you will, 
you can never see them in a good one. They suffered their best 
epic poet to perish for want : and they burned to death their best 
dramatic writer, because he was a Jew. 

Pombal, whose heart was bad, though he made a good minister, 
reduced the cKurch during his administraiion. He suffered no 
persons to enter the convents, and, as the old monks and nuns 
died, threw two convents into one, and sold the other estates. 
By this means he would have annihilated the w^hole generation of 
vermin ; but the king died, and the queen, whose religion has 
driven her mad, undid, through the influence of the priests, all 
that Pombal had done. He escaped w^ith his life, but lived to 
see his bust destroyed, and all his plans for the improvement of 
Portugal reversed. He had the interest of his country at heart, 
and the punishment, added to the regret of having committed so 
many crimes to secure his power, must almost have been enough 
for this execrable marquis. 

The climate here is dehghtful, and the air so clear, that when 



150 REMINISCENCES OP 

the moon is young, I can often distinguish the whole circle, thus: 
O. You and Robert may look for this some fine night, but I do 
not remember ever to have observed it in England. The stars ap- 
pear more brilliant here, but I often look up at the Pleiades, and 
remember how much happier I was when I saw them in Bristol. 
Fare you well. Let me know that my friends remember me. * * 

Robert Southey.'* 

After the complete reconciliation had taken place with Mr. 
Coleridge, Mr. Southey in the autumn of 1796, settled in London, 
and purposed to study the law. From London he sent me the 
following letter. 

^'London, Nov., 1796. 
My dear Friend, 

I am now entering on a new way of life which will lead me to 
independence. You know that I neither lightly undertake any 
scheme, nor lightly abandon what I have undertaken. I am 
happy because I have no want, and because the independence I 
labor to attain, and of attaining which, my expectations can 
hardly be disappointed, will leave me nothing to wish. I am in- 
debted to you, Cottle, for the comforts of my later time. In my 
present situation I feel a pleasure in saying thus much. 

Thank God ! Edith comes on Monday next. I say Thank God, 
for I have never since my return from Portugal, been absent from 
her so long before, and sincerely hope and intend never to be so 
again. On Tuesday we shall be settled, and on Wednesday my 
legal studies begin in the morning, and I shall begin with ' Madoc' 
in the evening. Of this it is needless to caution you to say noth- 
ing, as I must have the character of a lawyer ; and though I can 
and will unite the two pursuits, no one would credit the possi- 
bihty of the union. In two years the Poem shall be finished, 
and the many years it must lie by will aiford ample time for cor- 
rection. 

I have declined being a member of a Literary Club, which 
meet at the Chapter Coffee House, and of which I had been 
elected a member. Surely a man does not do his duty who leaves 
his wife to evenings of solitude ; and I feel duty and happiness to 
be inseparable. I am happier at home than any other society 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 151 



can possibly make me. With Edith I am ahke secure from the 
wearisomeness of solitude, and the disgust which I cannot help 
feehng at the contemplation of mankind, and which I do not wish 
to suppress. 

Here is a great deal about myself, and nothing about those 
whom I have seen in London, and of whom we have all heard in 
the countr}^ I will make a report upon them in my next letter. 
God bless you. Yours sincerely, 

Robert Southey." 

Letter from Robert Southey, to Amos Cottle, Magdalen Col- 
lege, Cambridge. 

'^London, Feb. 28, 1797. 
20 Prospect Place, Newington Butts. 

* ''^ ^ Here I am travelling on in the labyrinth of 
the law ; and though I had rather make books myself than read 
the best lawyer's composition, I am getting on cheerfully, and 
steadily, and well. 

While you are amusing yourself with mathematics, and I 
lounging over the law, the political and commercial world are all 
in alarm and confusion. I cannot call myself a calm witness of 
all this, for I sit by the fireside, hear little about it, think less, 
and see nothing; 'all hoping, and expecting all in patient faith.' 
Tranquillity of mind is a blessing too valuable to sacrifice for all 
the systems man has ever established. My day of political en- 
thusiasm is over. I know what is right, and as I see that every- 
thing is wrong, care more about the changing of the wind, 
lest it should make the chimney smoke, than for all the empires 
of Europe." ^' '^ '^ 

-'London, 1797. 
My dear Friend, 

^ ^ '^' I physiognomize everything, even the very 

oysters may be accurately judged by their shells. I discovered 
this at Lisbon, where they are all deformed, hump-backed, and 
good for nothing. Is it not possible by the appearance of a river 
to tell what fish are in it ? In the slow sluggish stream you will 
find the heavy chub. In the livelier current, the trout and the 
pike. If a man loves prints you have an excellent clue to his 



REMINISCENCES OF 



character ; take for instance, the inventory of mine at College : — 
Four views of the ruins at Rome ; Charles Fox ; Belisarius ; 
Niohe ; and four Landscapes of Poussin ; and Claude Lorraine. 
These last are a constant source of pleasure. I become acquainted 
with the inhabitants in every house, and know every inch of 
ground in the prospect. They have formed for me many a pleas- 
ant day-dream. I can methodize these into a little poem. I am 
now settled ; my books are organized ; and this evening I set off 
on my race. 

We have a story of a ghost here, who appears to the watch- 
men, — the spirit of a poor girl, whose life was abandoned, and 
her death most horrible. I am in hopes it may prove true ! as I 
have a great love for apparitions. They make part of the poeti- 
cal creed. Fare you well. 

Sincerely yours. 

To Joseph Cottle. Robert Southey." 

0" 

"London, March 6, 1797. 

* ^* ^ I am inclined to complain heavily of you, 

Cottle. Here am I committing grand larceny on my time, in 
writing to you ; and you, who might sit at your fire, and write me 
huge letters, have not found time to fill even half a sheet. As 
you may suppose, I have enough of employment. I work like a 
negro, at law, and therefore neglect nothing else, for he who 
never wastes time has time always enough. 

I have to see many of the London lions, or literati ; George 
Dyer is to take me to Mary Hayes, Miss Christal, and Taylor, the 
Pagan, my near neighbor. You shall have my physiognomical 
remarks upon them. I hate this city more and more, although I 
see little of it. You do not know with what delight I anticipate 
a summer in Wales, and I hope to spend the summer of the next 
year there, and to talk Welsh most gutturally. I shall see Meirion 
this week, whose real name is William Owen. He is the author 
of the new Welsh dictionary, a man of uncommon erudition, and 
who ought to esteem me for Madoc's sake. Fare you well. 
Remember me to all friends. God bless you. 

Yours sincerely, 

Robert Southey." 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 153 

* * ^ "Perhaps you will be surprised to hear, that of all 
the lions of literati that I have seen here, there is not one whose 
countenance has not some unpleasant trait. Mary Imlay is the 
best, infinitely the best. The only fault in it, is an expression 
somewhat similar to what the prints of Home Tooke display ; an 
expression indicating superiority, not haughtiness, not conceit, not 
sarcasm, in Mary Imlay, but still it is unpleasant. Her eyes are 
light brown, and though the lid of one of them is affected by a 
slight paralysis, they are the most meaning I ever saw. Her 
complexion is dark, sun-burnt, and her skin a little cracked, for 
she is near forty, and affliction has borne harder on her than 
years ; but her manners are the most pleasing I ever witnessed, 
they display warm feeling, and strong understanding ; and the 
knowledge she has acquired of men and manners, ornaments, not 
disguise's, her own character. I have given an unreserved opinion 
of Mrs. Barbauld to Charles Danvers. 

While I was with George Dyer one morning last week, Mary 
Hayes and Miss Christal entered, and the ceremony of introduc- 
tion followed. Mary Hayes writes in the New Monthly Magazine, 
under the signature of M. H., and sometimes writes nonsense 
there about Helvetius. She has lately published a novel, ' Emma 
Courtney,' a book much praised and much abused. I have not 
seen it myself, but the severe censure passed on it by persons of 
narrow mind, have made me curious, and convinced me that it is 
at least an uncommon book. Mary Hayes is an agreeable *voman 
and a Godwinite. Now if jou will read Godwin's book with at- 
tention, we will determine between us, in Avhat light to consider 
that sectarian title. As for Godwin himself, he has large noble 
eyes, and a nose, — oh, most abominable nose ! Language is not 
vituperative enough to express the effect of its downward elonga- 
tion. He loves London, literary society, and talks nonsense about 
the collision of mind, and Mary Hayes echoes him. 

But Miss Christal, have you seen her Poems ? A fine, artless, 
sensible girl. Now, Cottle, that word sensible must not be con- 
strued here in its dictionary acceptation. Ask a Frenchman what 
it means, and he will understand it, though, perhaps, he can by 
no circumlocution explain its French meaning. Her heart is alive. 
She loves poetry. She loves retirement. She loves the country. 



154 REMINISCENCES OF 



Her verses are very incorrect, and the literary circle say, she has 
no genius, but she has genius, Joseph Cottle, or there is no truth 
in physiognomy. Gilbert Wakefield came in while I was disput- 
ing with Mary Hayes upon the moral effects of towns. He has a 
most critic-like voice, as if he had snarled himself hoarse. You 
see I like the women better than the men. Indeed they are bet- 
ter animals in general, perhaps because more is left to nature in 
their education. Nature is very good, but God knows there is 
very little of it left. 

I wish you were within a morning's walk, but I am always 
persecuted by time and space. Robert Southey, and law, and 
poetry, make up an odd kind of tri-union. We jog on easily to- 
gether, and I advance with sufficient rapidity in Blackstone, and 
' Madoc' I hope to finish my poem, and to begin my practice in 
about two years. God bless you. 

Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

Hi Ht Hi <c J ^jj^ running a race with the printers again : 
translating a work from the French : ' Necker on the French Revo- 
lution,' vol. II. Dr. Aikin and his son translate the 1st volume. 
My time is wholly engrossed by the race, for I run at the rate of 
sixteen pages a day ; as hard going as sixteen miles for a .hack 
horse. About sixteen days more will complete it. 

There is no necessity for my residing in London till the close 
of the autumn. Therefore after keeping the next term, which 
may be kept the first week in May, I intend to go into the coun- 
try for five months ; probably near the sea, at the distance of one 
day's journey from London, for the convenience of coming up to 
keep the Trinity Term. This will not increase my expenses, 
though it will give me all the pleasure of existence which London 
annihilates. God bless you. 

Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

'' My dear Cottle, 

* * * George Dyer gave me what he calls his ' Crotchet,' 
and what I call an indifferent poem. Said he to me, ' I could 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 155 

not bring in Wordsworth, and Lloyd, and Lamb, but I put them in 
a note/ That man is all benevolence. 

If, which is probable, we go to Hampshire, I shall expect to 
see you there. It is an easy day's ride from Bristol to Southamp- 
ton ; but I shall lay before you a correct map of the road when 
all is settled. 

I have seen your Dr. Baynton's book. It is vilely written ; but 
the theory seems good, (that of bandaging wounded legs.) My 
friend Carlisle means to try it at the Westminster Hospital. I 
was somewhat amused at seeing a treatise on sore legs, printed on 
wove paper, and hot pressed. 

I met Townsend, the Spanish traveller, a few days since at Car- 
lisle's. He flattered me most unpleasantly on *Joan of Arc.' 
Townsend is much taller than I am, and almost as thin. He in- 
vited me to Pewsey, and I shall breakfast with him soon. He is 
engaged in a work of immense labor ; the origin of languages. I 
do not like him ; he is too polite to be sincere. 
Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

The late George Dyer, referred to by Mr. Sou they, was an 
University man who exercised his talents chiefly in writing for the 
Periodicals. His chief work was ''The History of the Halls and 
Colleges of Cambridge." He published also several small works. 
The Poem, referred to above, was complimentary, in which he 
noticed most of his literary friends. The way in which he 
''brought in" the author of the "Pleasures of Memory" was, 
very properly putting wit before Avealth, 

" Was born a banker, and then rose a bard." 

George Dyer was sincere, and had great simplicity of manners, 
so that he was a favorite with all his friends. No man in Lon- 
don encouraged so much as he did, Bloomfield, the author of the 
" Farmer's Boy ;" and he was equally prepared with kind offices 
for everybody. He had some odd fancies, one of which was, 
that men ought to live more sparingly and drink plenty of water- 
gruel. By carrying this wholesome precept on one occasion, 
rather too far, he unhappily reduced himself to death's door. 



156 REMINISCENCES OF 

• ^ 

Charles Lamb told me, tluit luiving once called on him, at his 
room in Clifford's Inn, he found a little girl with him, (one of his 
nieces,) whom he was teaching to sing hymns. 

Mr. Coleridge related to me a rather ludicrous circumstance 
concerning George Dyer, which Charles Lamb had told him, the 
last time he passed through London. Charles Lamb had heard 
that George Dyer was very ill, and hastened to see him. He 
found him in an emaciated state, shivering over a few embers. 
*' Ah 1" said George, as Lamb entered, *' I am glad to see you. 
You w^on't have me here long. I have just written this letter to 
my young nephews and nieces, to come immediately and take a 
final leave of their uncle." Lamb found, on inquiry, that he had 
latterly been living on water-gruel, and a low starving diet, and 
readily divined the cause of his maladies. " Come," said Lamb, 
" I shall take you home immediately to my house, and I and my 
sister w^ill nurse you." " Ah ! " said George Dyer, " it won't do." 
The hackney coach was soon at the door, and as the sick man en- 
tered it, he said to Lamb, " Alter the address, and then send the 
letter with all speed to the poor children." " I will," said Lamb, 
''and at the same time call the doctor." 

George Dyer was now seated by Charles Lamb's comfortable 
fire, while Lamb hastened to his medical friend, and told him that 
a worthy man was at his house who had almost starved himself 
on water-gruel. " You must come," said he, " directly, and pre- 
scribe some kitchen stuff, or the poor man will be dead. He 
won't take anything from me ; he says, 'tis all useless." Away 
both the philanthropists hastened, and Charles Lamb, anticipating 
what would be required, furnished himself, on the road, with a 
pound of beef-steaks. The doctor now entered the room, and ad- 
vancing towards his patient, felt his pulse, and asked him a few 
questions ; when, looking grave, he said, " Sir, you are in a very 
dangerous way." " I know it. Sir, I know it. Sir," said George 
Dyer. The Dr. replied, '' Sir, yours is a very peculiar case, and 
if you do not implicitly follow my directions, you will die of atro- 
phy before to-morrow morning. It is the only possible chance 
of saving your life. You must directly make a good meal of 
beef-steaks, and drink the best part of a pot of porter." " Tis 
too late," said George, but " I'll eat, I'll eat." The doctor now 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 157 

withdrew, and so nicely had Lamb calculated on results, that the 
steaks were all this time broiling on the lire ! and, as though by 
magic, the doctor had scarcely left the room, when the steaks and 
the porter were both on the table. 

Just as George Dyer had begun voraciously to feast on the 
steaks, his young nephews and nieces entered the room crying. 
" Good bye, my dears," said George, taking a deep draught of 
the porter. " You won't see me much longer." After a few 
mouthfuls of the savory steak, he further said, ''be good chil- 
dren, when I am gone." Taking another draught of the porter, he 
continued, " mind your books, and don't forget your hymns." 
" We won't," answered a little shrill silvery voice, from among the 
group, ''Ave won't, dear uncle." He now gave them all a parting 
kiss ; when the children retired in a state of w^onderment, that 
"sick Uncle" should be able to eat and drink so heartily. ''And 
so," said Lamb, in his own peculiar phraseology, " at night, I 
packed up his little nipped carcass snug in bed, and, after stuff- 
ing him for a week, sent him home as plump as a partridge." 

"April, 26, 1797. 
* * * I have finished Necker this morning, and return 
again to my regular train of occupation. Would that digging po- 
tatoes were amongst them ! and if I live a dozen years, you shall 
eat potatoes of my digging: but I must think now of the 
present. 

Some Mr. sent me a volume of his poems, last week. I 

read his book : it was not above mediocrity. He seems very fond 
of poetry and even to a superstitious reverence of Thomson's 
' old table,' and even of Miss Seward, whose MS. he rescued from 
the printer. I called on him to thank him, and was not sorry to 
find him not at home. But the next day a note arrived with 
more praise. He Avished my personal acquaintance, and ' trusts 1 
shall excuse the frankness which avows, that it would gratify his 
feelings to receive a copy of Joan of Arc from the author.' 1 
thought this, to speak tenderly, not a very modest request, but 
there is a something in my nature which prevents me from 
silently displaying my sentiments, if that display can give pain, 
and so I answered his note, and sent him the book. He writes 



158 REMINISCENCES OF 

sonnets to Miss Seward, and Mr. Hayley ; enough to stamp him 
' blockhead.' 

Carlisle and I, instead of our neighbors' ' Revolutionary Tribu- 
nal/ mean to erect a physiognomical one, and as transportation is 
to be the punishment instead of guillotining, we shall put the 
whole navy in requisition to carry off all ill-looking fellows, and 
then we may walk London streets without being jostled. You 
are to be one of the Jury, and we must get some good limner to 
take down the evidence. Witnesses will be needless. The fea- 
tures of a man's face will rise up in judgment against him ; and 
the very voice that pleads ' Not guilty,' will be enough to convict 
the raven-toned criminal. 

I supped last night wdth Ben. Flower, of Cambridge, at Mr. 
P.'s, and never saw so much coarse strength in a countenance. 
He repeated to me an epigram on the dollars which perhaps you 
may not have seen. 

To make Spanish dollars with Englishmen pass, 
Stamp the head of a fool, on the tail of an ass.* 

This has a coarse strength rather than a point. Danvers tells 
me that you have written to Herbert Croft. Give me some ac- 
count of your letter. Let me hear from you, and tell me how 
you all are, and what is going on in the little world of Bristol. 
God bless you. 

Youi'S affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

>k % % u We dine with Mary Wolstoncroft (now Godwin) 
to-morrow. Oh ! he has a foul nose ! I never see it without 
longing to cut it off. By the by. Dr. Hunter (the murderer of 
St. Pierre)f told me that I had exactly Lavater's nose, to my no 
small satisfaction, for I did not know what to make of that protu- 
berance, or promontory of mine. I could not compliment him. 
He has a very red drinking face : little good-humored eyes, with 
the skin drawn up under them, like cunning and short- sighted- 

* During the French war, Spanish dollars received the impression of the 
King's head, and then passed as the current coin, at 4s. 6d 
t Dr. Hunter translated St. Pierre. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 159 

ness united. I saw Dr. Hunter again yesterday. I neither like 
him, nor his wife, nor his son, nor his daughter, nor anything 
that is his. To-night I am to meet Opie. God bless you. 
Edith's love. 

Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

*^May, 1797. 
My dear Cottle, 

* * * Opie indeed is a very extraordinary man. I have 
^.now twice seen him. Without anything of poHteness, his man- 
ners are pleasing, though their freedom is out of the common ; 
and his conversation, though in a half-uttered, half- Cornish, half- 
croak, is interestino\ There is a stranore contrast between his 
genius, which is not confined to painting, and the vulgarity of his 
appearance, — -his manners, and sometimes of his language. You 
will, however, easily conceive that a man who can paint like Opie, 
must display the same taste on other subjects. He is very fond 
of Spenser. No author furnishes so many pictures, he says. You 
may have seen his * Britomart delivering Amoret.' He has begun 
a picture from Spenser, which he himself thinks his best design, 
but it has remained untouched for three years. The outline is 
wonderfully fine. It is the delivery of Serena from the Salvages, 
by Calepine. You will find the story in the 6th book of the 
'Fairy Queen.' The subject has often struck me as being fit for 
the painter. 

I saw Dr. Gregory (Biographer of Chatterton) to-day ; a very 
brown-looking man, of most pinquescent, and full-moon cheeks. 
There is much tallow in him. I like his wife, and perhaps him, 
too, but his Christianity is of an intolerant order, and he affects a 
solemnity when talking of it, which savors of the high priest. 
When he comes before the physiognomical tribunal, we must melt 
him down. He is too portly. God bless you. ^ ^ ^ 

Yours truly, 

Robert Southey." 

"May, 1797. 
* * * I fancy you see no hand-writing so often as mine. 
I have been much pleased with your letter to Herbert Croft. I 



160 REMINISCENCES OF 



was at Dr. Gregory's last night. He has a nasal twang right 
priestly in its note. He said he would gladly abridge his life of 
Chatterton, if I required it. ]3ut it is a bad work, and Coleridge 
should write a new one, or if he declines it, let it devolve on 
me.* They knew Miss Wesley, daughter of Charles Wesley, 
with whom I once dined at your house. She told them, had he 
not prematurely died, that she was going to be married to John 
Henderson. Is this true ?f 

I have a treasure for you. A ' Treatise on Miracles,' written 
by John Henderson, your old tutor, for Coleridge's brother 
George, and given to me by a pupil of his, John May, a Lisbon . 
acquaintance, and a very valuable one. John May is anxious for 
a full life of John Henderson. You should get Agutter's papers. 
You ought also to commit to paper all you know concerning him, 
and all you can collect, that the documents may remain, if you de- 
cline it. If the opportunity pass, he will die without his fame. 

I have lost myself in the bottomless profundity of Gilbert's pa- 
pers. Fire, and water, and cubes, and sybils, and Mother Church, 
&c. &c. Poor fellow. I have been introduced to a man, not un- 
like him in his ideas, — Taylor the Pagan, a most devout Heathen ! 
who seems to have some hopes of me. He is equally unintelligi- 
ble, but his eye has not that inexpressible wildness, which some- 
times half-terrified us in Gilbert." 

^^ Christ Church, June 14, 1797. 

* * ^ I am in a place I like : the awkwardness of intro- 
duction over, and the acquaintance I have made here pleasant. — 
* * Your letter to Herbert Croft has made him some enemies 
here. I wish much to see you on that business. Bad as these 
times are for literature, a subscription might be opened now with 
great success, for Mrs. Newton, (Chatterton's sister,) and the whole 
statement of facts ought to be published in the prospectus. 

Time gallops with me. I am at work now for the Monthly Mag- 

* Dr. Gregory's life was prefixed entire to the collection of Chatterton's 
works, 3 vols. 8vo. Mr. Southey never fulfilled his intention of writing a 
life of Chatterton. The able review of this work, in the Edinburgh, was 
written by Sir Walter Scott, 

•f It was not true, but a vain fancy ; causelessly entertained, by, at least, 
four other ladies, under the same delusion as Miss W. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 161 



azine, upon Spanish poetry. If vre are unsuccessful here (in suit- 
ing ourselves with a house) I purpose writing to Wordsworth, and 
asking him if we can get a place in his neighborhood. If not, 
down we go to Dorsetshire. Oh, for a snug island in the farthest 
of all seas, surrounded by the highest of ail rocks, where I and 
some ten or twelve more might lead the happiest of all possible 
lives, totally secluded from the worst of all possible monsters, 
man." * '^ '' 

" Christ Church, June 18, 1797. 

^ ^ % The main purport of my writing is, to tell you that 
we have found a house for the next half year. If I had a mind 
to affect a pastoral style, I might call it a cottage ; but, in plain 
English, it is- exactly w^hat it expresses. We have got a sitting- 
room, and two bedrooms, in a house w^hich you, may call a cot- 
tage if you like it, and that one of these bedrooms is ready for 
you, and the sooner you take possession of it the better. You 
must let me know when you come that I may meet you. 

So you have had Kosciusco with you, (in Bristol,) and bitterly 
do I regret not having seen him. If he had remained one week 
longer in London, I should have seen him ; and to have seen 
Kosciusco w^ould have been something to talk of all the rest of 
one's life. 

We have a congregation of rivers here, the clearest you ever 
saw: plenty of private boats too. We w^ent down to the harbor 
on Friday, in Mr. Rickman's ;^ a sensible young man, of rough 

* On visiting Mr. Southey, at Christ-Church, he introduced to me this Mr. 
Rickman, whom I found sensible enough, and blunt enough, and seditious 
enough ; that is, simply anti-ministerial. The celebrated Sir G. Rose, had 
his seat in the vicinity. Sir George was a sort of King of the district. He 
was also Colonel of a regiment of volunteers. Mr. Rickman told me that 
the great man had recently made a feast for the officers of his regiment, (about 
a dozen of them.) the substantial yeomen of the neighborhood. After the 
usual bumper had uproariously been offered to the " King and Constitution; 
and confusion to all Jacobins,'' the Colonel Sir G. called on the Lieutenant- 
Colonel, after the glasses were duly charged, for a lady-toast. " I'll give you,'' 
he replied, " Lady Rose." This being received with all honors, the Major was 
now applied to for his lady-toast. " I can't mend it," he replied, " 111 give 
Lady Rose." A Captain was now called on; said he, "I am sure I can't 
mend it, Lady Rose." So that the whole of these military heroes concurred 
in drinking good Lady Rose's health. 



162 REMINISCENCES OF 

but mild manners, and very seditious. He and I rowed, and 
Edith was pilot. God bless you. 

Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

Mr. Rickman afterwards acquired some celebrity. He became 
private secretary to the prime minister, Mr. Perceval, and after- 
wards for many years, was one of the clerks of the House of 
Commons. He published also, in 4to, a creditable Life of Telford, 
the great engineer, and officially conducted the first census, (1800,) 
a most laborious undertaking. The second census (1810) was 
conducted in a rery efficient way, by Mr. Thomas Poole, whose 
name often appears in this work, appointed through the influence 
of Mr. Rickman. 

"London, Dec. 14, 1797. 
My dear Cottle, 

I found your parcel on my return from a library belonging to 
the Dissenters, (Dr. Williams's Library,) in Redcross-street, from 
which, by permission of Dr. Towers, I brought back books of 
great importance for my ' Maid of Orleans.' A hackney coach 
horse turned into a field of grass, falls not more eagerly to a break- 
fast which lasts the whole day, than I attacked the old folios, so 
respectably covered with dust. I begin to like dirty rotten bind- 
ing, and vv^ienever I get among books, pass hy the gilt coxcombs, 
and disturb the spiders. But you shall hear what I have got. A 
Latin poem in four long books, on ' Joan of Arc :' very bad, but 
it gives me a quaint note or tvvo, and Yalerandus Valerius is a 
fine name for a quotation. A small 4to, of the 'Life of the 
Maid,' chiefly extracts from forgotten authors, printed at Paris, 

One of the officers, it appeared, was a bit of a poet, and had composed a 
choice song for this festive occasion, and which was sung in grand chorus, 
the Right Honorable Colonel himself heartily joining. The whole ditty was 
supremely ludicrous. I remember only the last verse. 
" Sir Geor>xe Rose is our Commander, 
He's as great as Alexander ; 
He'll never flinch, nor stir back an inch, 
He loves fire like a Salamander. 
Chorus — He loves fire like a Salamander." 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 163 

1712, with a print of her on horseback. A sketch of her life by 
Jacobus Philippus Bergomensis — bless the length of his erudite 
name. 

John May, and Carlisle, (surgeon,) were with me last night, and 
we struck out a plan, which, if we can effect it, will be of great 
use. It is to be called the * Convalescent Asylum' ; and intended 
to receive persons who are sent from the hospitals ; as the imme- 
diate return to unwholesome air, bad diet, and all the loathsome- 
ness of poverty, destroys a very great number. The plan is to 
employ them in a large garden, and it is supposed in about three 
years, the institution would pay itself, on a small scale for forty 
persons. The success of one, would give birth to many others. 
C. W. W. Wynn enters heartily into it. We meet on Saturday 
again, and as soon as the plan is at all digested, Carlisle means to 
send it to Dr. Beddoes, for his inspection. We were led to this 
by the circumstance of finding a poor woman, almost dying for 
want, who is now rapidly recovering in the hospital, under 
Carlisle. 

Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey.'* 

^'1798. 
My dear Cottle, 

In the list of the killed and wounded of the ' Mars,' you saw 
the name of Bligli, a midshipman. I remember rejoicing at the 
time, that it was not a name I knew. Will you be surprised that 
the object of this letter is to require your assistance in raising 
some little sum for the widow of this man. 

I cannot express to you how deep and painful an interest I take 
in the history of this man. My brother Tom., an officer in the 
same ship, loved him ; and well he might, for poor Bhgh was a 
a man, who, out of his midshipman's pay, allowed his wife and 
children thirteen pounds a year. He wished to be made master's 
mate, that he might make the sum twenty pounds, and then he 
said they would be happy. He was a man alDout thirty-five years 
of age ; an unlettered man, of strong natural powers, and of a 
heart, of which a purer, and a better, never lived. I could tell 
you anecdotes of him that would make your eyes overflow, like 



164 REMINISCENCES OF 



mine. Surely, Cottle, there will be no difficulty in sending. his 
poor wife some little sum. Five guineas would be much to Ifer. 
We will give one, and I will lay friends in London under contri- 
bution. God bless you. 

Yours truly, 
« Robert Southey." 

"Hereford, 1798. 
My dear Cottle, 

My time here has been completely occupied in riding about the 
country. I have contrived to manufacture one eclogue, and that 
is all ; but the exercise of riding has jostled a good many ideas 
into my brain, and I have plans enough for a long leisure. You 
know my tale of the ' Adite,' in the garden of Irem. I have 
tacked it on to an old plan of mine upon the destruction of the 
Domdanyel, and made the beginning, middle, and end. There is 
a tolerable skeleton formed. It will extend to ten or twelve books, 
and they appear to me to possess much strong conception in the 
Arabian manner. It will at least prove that I did not reject ma- 
chinery in my Epics, because I could not wield it. This only 
forms part of a magnificent project, which I do not despair of 
one day completing, in the destruction of the ' Domdanyel.' My 
intention is, to show off all the splendor of the Mohammedan be- 
lief. I intend to do the same to the Runic and Oriental systems ; 
to preserve the costume of place as well as of religion. 

I have been thinking that though we have been disappointed 
of our Welsh journey, a very delightful pilgrimage is still within 
our reach. Suppose you were to meet me at Ross. We go thence 
down the W^ye to Monmouth. On the way are Goodrich castle, 
the place where Henry Y. was nursed ; and Arthur's cavern. 
Then there is Ragland castle, somewhere thereabout, and we 
might look again at Tintern. I should like this much. The 
Welsh mail from Bristol, comes every day through Ross ; we can 
meet there. Let me hear from you, and then I Avill fix the day, 
and we will see the rocks and woods in all their beauty. God 
bless you. 

Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 165 

"Exeter, Sept. 22, lYOO. 
My dear Cottle, 

* "^ "-^ You will, I hope, soon have a cargo to send 
me of your own, for the second volume of the ' Anthology,' and 
some from Davy. If poor Mrs. Yearsley were living I should like 
much to have her name there. As yet I have only Coleridge's 
pieces, and my own, amounting to eighty or one hundred pages. 
*Thalaba, the Destroyer,' is progressing. 

There is a poem called * Geber,' of which I know not whether 
my review of it, in the ' Critical,' be yet printed, but in that review 
you will find some of the most exquisite poetry in the language. 
The poem is such as Gilbert, if he were only half as mad as he is, 
could have written. I would go a hundred miles to see the 
(anonymous) author. "^ 

There are some worthies in Exeter, with whom I have passed 
some pleasant days, but the place is miserably bigoted. Would 
you believe that there are persons here who still call the Ameri- 
cans *the Rebels.' Exeter is the filthiest town in England; a 
gutter running down the middle of every street and lane. We 
leave on Monday week. I shall rejoice to breathe fresh air. 
Exeter, however, has the best collection of old books for sale, of 
any town out of London.f 

I have lately made up my mind to undertake one great histori- 
cal work, the * History of Portugal,' but for this, and for many 
other noble plans, I want uninterrupted leisure ; time wholly my 
own, and not frittered away by little periodical employments. 
My working at such work is Columbus serving before the mast. 
God bless you. 

Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

"Falmouth, 1800. 
My dear Cottle, 
Our journey here was safe, but not without accidents. We 

* Walter Savage Landor. 

t The character of Exeter has been completely changed since the period 
when this letter was written ; and from a town, the least attractive, for im- 
provements of every description, it may now vie vvrith any town in England, 



166 REMINISCENCES OF 



found the packet, by which we were to sail, detained by the wind, 
and we are watching it with daily anxiety."^' 

A voyage is a serious thing, and particularly an outward-bound 
voyage. The hope of departure is never an exhilarating hope. 
Inns are always comfortless, and the wet weather that detains us 
at Falmouth, imprisons us. Dirt, noise, restlessness, expectation, 
impatience, — fine cordials for the spirits ! 

Devonshire is an ugly county. I have no patience with the 
cant of travellers, who so bepraise it. They have surely slept all 
the way through Somersetshire. Its rivers are beautiful, very 
beautiful, but nothing else. High hills, all angled over with 
hedges, and no trees. Wide views, and no object. I have heard 
a good story of our friend, Charles Fox. When his house, at this 
place, was on fire, he found all efforts to save it useless, and be- 
ing a good draughtsman, he went up the next hill to make a draw- 
ing of the fire ! the best instance of philosophy I ever heard. 

I have received letters from Rickman and Coleridge. Coleridge 
talks of flaying Sir Herbert Croft. This may not be amiss. God 
bless you. I shake you mentally by the hand, and when we shake 
hands bodily, trust that you will find me a repaired animal, with 
a head fuller of knowledge, and a trunk full of manuscripts. Tell 
Davy this Cornwall is such a vile county, that nothing but its 
merit, as his birth-place, redeems it from utter execration. I have 
found in it nothing but rogues, restive horses, and wet weather ; 
and neither Pilchards, White-ale, or Squab-pie, were to be ob- 
tained ! Last night I dreamt that Davy had killed himself by an 
explosion. Once more, God bless you. 

Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

Mr. Southey, in this second visit to Lisbon, sent me the follow- 
ing poetical letter, which, for ease, vivacity, and vigorous descrip- 
tion, stands at the head of that class of compositions. A friendly 
vessel, mistaken for a French privateer, adds to the interest. In 
one part, the poet conspicuously bursts forth. 

* Mr. Southey paid this second visit to Lisbon, accompanied by Mw- 
Southey. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 167 

"Lisbon, May 9th, 1800. 

Dear Cottle, d'ye see, 
In writing to thee, 
I do it in rhyme. 
That I may save time, 
Determin'd to say. 
Without any delay, 
"Whatever comes first. 
Whether best or worst. 
Alack for me ! 
When I was at sea. 
For I lay like a log, 
As sick as a dog, 
And whoever this readeth. 
Will pity poor Edith : 
Indeed it was shocking. 
The vessel fast rocking, 
The timbers all creaking, 
And when we were speaking. 
It was to deplore 
That we were not on shore. 
And to vow we would never go voyaging more. 

The fear of our fighting. 
Did put her a fright in, 
And I had alarms 
For my legs and my arms. 
When the matches were smoking, 
I thought 'twas no joking, 
And though honor and glory 
And fame were before me, 
'Twas a great satisfaction, 
That we had not an action. 
And I felt somewhat bolder. 
When I knew that my head might remain on my shoulder. 

But O ! 'twas a pleasure. 
Exceeding all measure, 
On the deck to stand. 
And look at the land ; 
And when I got there, 
I vow and declare. 
The pleasure was even 
Like getting to Heaven . 
I could eat and drink, 
As you may think ; 
I could sleep at ease, 
Except for the fleas, 



IG8 REMINISCENCES OP 



But still the sea-feeling, — 
The drunken reeling, 
Did not go away 
For more than a day : 
Like a cradle, the bed 
Seemed to rock my head, 
And the room and the town, 
Went up and down. 

My Edith here, 

Thinks all things queer, 
And some things she likes well ; 

But then the street 

She thinks not neat, 
And does not like the smell. 

Nor do the fleas 

Her fancy please, 
Although the fleas like her ; 

They at first view 

Fell merrily to. 
For they made no demur. 

But, O, the sight ! 

The great delight ! 
From this my window, west ! 

This view so fine. 

This scene divine ! 
The joy that I love best ! 

The Tagus here, 

So broad and clear, 
Blue, in the clear blue noon — 

And it lies light, 

All silver white, 
Under the silver moon ! 

Adieu, adieu. 

Farewell to you. 
Farewell, my friend so dear, 

Write when you may, 

I need not say. 
How gladly we shall hear. 

I leave ofl" rhyme. 

And so next time. 
Prose writing you shall see ; 

But in rhyme or prose, 

Dear Joseph knows 
The same old friend in me. 



Robert Southey.' 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. lOO 

"Portugal, Cintra, July, 1800. 
My dear Cottle, 

I write at a five minutes' notice. The unforeseen and unlucky 
departure of my only friend gives me occasion for this letter, and 
opportunity to send it. It is Miss Barker Congreve. She is a 
woman of uncommon talents, with whom we have been wander- 
ing over these magnificent mountains, till she made the greatest 
enjoyment of the place. I feel a heavier depression of spirits at 
losing her than I have known since Tom left me at Liskard. 

We are at Cintra : I am well and active, in better health than 
I have long known, and till to-day, in uninterrupted gayety at 
heart. I am finishing the eleventh book of ' Thalaba,' and shall 
certainly have written the last before this reaches you. My Bris- 
tol friends have neglected me. Danvers has not written, and 
Edith is without a line from either of her sisters. 

My desk is full of materials for the literary history, which will 
require only the labor of arrangement and translation, on my re- 
turn. I shall have the knowledge for the great work ; and my 
miscellaneous notes will certainly swell into a volume of much odd 
and curious matter. Pray, write to me. You know not how I 
hunger and thirst for Bristol news. I long to be among you. If 
I could brino^ this climate to Bristol, it would make me a new be- 
ing ; but I am in utter solitude of all rational society ; in a state 
of mental famine, save that I feed on rocks and woods, and the 
richest banquet nature can possibly offer to her worshippers. 
God bless you. 

Abuse Danvers for me. Remember me to Davy, and all friendly 
inquirers. Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

P. S.— * ^ * The zeal of the Methodists and their 

itinerant preachers, has reprieved for half a century the system ; 
but you must be aware, that sooner or later, the Church of Eng- 
land will absorb all those sects that differ only in discipline. The 
comfortable latitude that takes in the Calvinist and the Arminian, 
must triumph. The Catholic principle will, perhaps, last the 
longest; and bids fair to continue as a political establishment, 
when all its professors shall laugh at its absurdity. Destroy its 

8 



170 REMINISCENCES OF 

monastic orders, and marry the priests, and the rest is a pretty 
puppet-show, with the idols, and the incense, and the polytheism, 
and the pomp of paganism. God bless you. 

R. S." 



''Bristol, Aug. 1802. 
Dear Cottle, 

Well done, good and faithful editor. I suspect that it is fortu- 
nate for the edition of Chatterton, that its care has devolved upon 
you. 

The note with which you preface ' Burgum's Pedigree,' need not 
come to me, as the M.S. is yours, whatever inferences may be 
drawn from it, will be by you. Add your name at the end to 
give it the proper authority. I shall know how to say enough, in 
the preface, about all other aiders and abetters, but it will not be 
easy to mention such a ringleader as yourself in words of ade- 
quate acknowledgment. 

What you have detected in the ' Tournament' I have also ob- 
served in Barrett, in the omission of a passage of bombast con- 
nected with one of the accounts of the Bristol churches. Your 
copy of the ' Tournament' being in Chatterton's own hand-wri- 
ting is surely the best authority. We are now of one opinion, 
that Chatterton and Rowley are one. 

I am glad to hear that you have discovered anj^thing worth 
printing in the British Museum, Doubtless, if you think it worth 
printing, others will do the same, and it is not our fault, if it be 
dull or an imperfect work. I transcribed page after page of 
what would have been worth little if genuine, and not being gen- 
uine, is worth nothing. This refers only to the local antiquities, 
and false deeds of gift, <i:c. I made a catalogue, and left it with 
you. Why say, ' I hope you will not take it amiss.' I am as ready 
to thank you for supplying any negligence of mine, as any one 
else can be. I should have wished for more enofravino-s, but we 
have gone to the bounds of expense and trouble, in this gratuitous, 
but pleasant effort to benefit the family of Bristol's most illustri- 
ous bard. Why did you not sign your notes ? I can now only 
say, that much, indeed most of the trouble has devolved on you. 
J. C. at the end of each note, would have showed how much. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHED. 171 

I have seen Catcott.* Chatterton had written to Clayfield that 
he meant to destroy himself. Clayfield called on Barrett to com- 
municate his uneasiness about the young lad. ' Stay,' said Bar- 
rett, ' and hear ^Yhat he will say to me.' Chatterton was sent for. 
Barrett talked to him on the guilt and folly of suicide. Chatter- 
ton denied any intention of the kind, or any conversation to that 
import. Clayfield came from the closet with the letter in his hand, 
and asked, ' Is not this your hand-writing ?' Chatterton then, 
in a state of confusion, fell upon his knees, and heard in sullen 
silence, the suitable remarks on his conduct. God bless you. 

Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

'^Bristol, Sept., 1802. 
Dear Cottle, 

I was from home, looking out for a habitationf in Wales, when 

* By comparing jMr. Catcott's copy with the original, it appeared that Mr. 
C. had very generally altered the orthography, so as to give the appearance 
of greater antiquity, as ' lette ' for ' let,' and ' onne ' for ' on,' &c. 

t The house of an ' Ap (son of) Griffiths, ap Jones, ap Owen, ap Thomas.' 
Some of the old Welsh families carry their Apping pedigrees dov^^n to Noah, 
when the progress is easy to Adam. Mr. Coleridge noticed how little diver- 
sity there was in the Welsh names. Thus in the list of subscribers to ' Owen's 
Welsh Dictionary,' to which none but Welshmen would subscribe, he found of 



The letter D, 


of 31 


names, 


21 were 


Davis or Davies. 


E, 


30 




16 


Evans. 


G, 


30 




two-thirds 


Griffiths. 


H, 






all 


Hughes and Howell. 


I, 


^^ 




all 


Jones. 



L, all Lloyds, except 4 Lewises, and 1 Llewellyn. 

M, four-fiths Morgans. 

O, all Owen. 

R^ all Roberts, or Richards. 

T, all Thomases. 

V, all Vaughans. 

W, 64 56 Williams. 

Mr. Southey felt great satisfaction when he had found a house in Wales 
that exactly suited him. It was half way up one of the Glamorganshire moun- 
tains ; well wooded ; the immediate scenery fine ; the prospect magnificent. 
The rent was approved, the time of entrance arranged, when, before the final 
settlement, Mr. S. thoucrht, on a second survey, that a small additional kitchen 



172 REMINISCENCES OF 



your letter arrived. My journey was so far successful, that I am 
in treaty for a house, eight miles from Neath, in the mountains, a 
lovely spot, exactly such as will suit my wishes." * * 

In a letter received from Mr. Southey, Aug. 25, 1805, he says, 
" I have neither seen, nor heard, of * Foster's Essays ' ; nor do I 
remember to have heard you mention him. Certainly, on your 
recommendation, I shall either buy or borrow the work. But no 
new book ever reaches these mountains, except such as come to 
me to be killed off." 

Mr. Southey mentioned to me the last time I saw him, the 
jeopardy in which he had recently been placed, through his 
' killing off * ; and from which danger he was alone saved by his 
anonymous garb. He said he had found it necessary in reviewing 
a book, written by a native of the emerald isle, to treat it with 
rather unwonted severity, such as it richly deserved. A few days 
after the critique had appeared, he happened to call on a literary 
friend, in one of the inns of court. They were conversing on this 
work, and the incompetence of the writer, when the author, a 
gigantic Irishman, entered the room, in a great rage, vowing ven- 
geance against the remorseless critic. Standing very near Mr. 
Southey, he raised his huge list, and exclaimed, " And, if I knew 
who it was, I'd bate him! " Mr. S. observed a very profound 
silence, and not liking the vicinity of a volcano, quietly retired, 
reserving his laugh for a less hazardous occasion. 

Mr. Southey in a letter, June 18, 1807, thus expresses himself. 
^h % % a Beyond the fascinations of poetry, there is a calmer 
and steadier pleasure in acquiring and communicating the knowl- 
edge of what has been and of what is. I am passionately fond 
of history, even when I have been delighted with the act of poet- 
ical composition. The recollection that all was fable in the story 
with which I have exerted myself, frequently mingled with the de- 
light. I am better pleased in rendering justice to the mighty 

was essential to the comfort of the house, and required it of the proprietor, 
preparatory to his taking a lease. To so reasonable a request the honest 
Welshman stoutly objected ; and on this slight occurrence, depended whether 
the Laureat should take up, perhaps, his permanent residence in the Princi- 
pality, or wend his way northward, and spend the last thirty years of his life 
in sight of Skiddaw. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 173 



dead ; witli the holding up to the world, of kings, conquerors, 
heroes, and saints, not as they have been usually held up, but as 
they really are, good or evil, according to the opinion formed of 
them, by one who has neither passion, prejudice, nor interest, of 
any kind to mislead his mind. 

There is a delight in recording great actions, and though of a 
different kind, in execrating bad ones, beyond anything which 
Poetry can give, when it departs from historical truth. There is 
also a sense of power, even beyond what the poet, creator as he 
is, can exercise. It is before my earthly tribunal, that these mighty 
ones are brought for judgment. Centuries of applause, trophies, 
and altars, or canonizations, or excommunications, avail nothing 
with me. No former sentences are cognizable in my court. The 
merits of the case are all I look to, and I believe I have never 
failed to judge of the actions by themselves, and of the actor by 
his motives ; and to allow manners, opinions, circumstances, &c., 
their full weight in extenuation. What other merit my historical 
works may have, others must find out for themselves, but this will 
I vouch for, that never was the heart of any historian fuller of 
purer opinions ; and that never any one went about his work with 
more thorough industry, or more thorough good-will. 

Your account of Churchey is very amusing, I should like to see 
the pamphlet of Avhich you speak."^ God bless you. 

Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

* Wm. Churchey was a very honest worthy lawyer, of Brecon, who unfor- 
tunately adopted the notion that he was a poet, and to substantiate his claim 
published the most remarkable book the world ever saw ! ' It was a poem 
called ' Joseph,' with other poems, in 4to, and of a magnitude really awful ! a 
mountain among the puny race of modern books. The only copy I ever saw 
was at an old book stall, and I hav? regretted that I did jiot purchase it, and 
get some stout porter to carry it home. Wm. Churchey was a friend of John 
Wesley. His prodigious 4to was published by subscription, and given away 
at the paltry sum of one guinea. I have an autograph letter of John Wesley, 
io his friend Churchey, in which he says, 

" My Dear brother, 

* * * I have procured one hundred guineas, and hope to procure 
fifty more. John Wesley." 

Mr. Churchey's pamphlet is thus entitled, '' An Apology, by Wm. Churchey, 



174 REMINISCENCES OF 

'' KesAvick, March 16, 1810. 
My dear Cottle, 

I cannot express to you how much it has affected me to hear 
of your affliction, [a long continued inflamation of the eyes, sub- 
dued ultimately, after bleeding, blistering, and cupping, by Sin- 
gleton's eye ointment,] for though I am sure there is no one A*ho 
would bear any sufferings with which it should please God to visit 
him, more patiently and serenely, than yourself, this nevertheless, 
is an affliction of the heaviest kind. It is very far from being the 
habit of my mind to indulge in visionary hopes, but from what I 

for his public appearance as a Poet. Printed at Trevecca, Breconshire, by 
Hughes and Co., 1805 ; and sold by the author, at Brecon, price 6d." 

The first paragraph in the ' Apology,' begins thus, the italics the author's 
own. 

" The author has been ostracised from Parnassus by some tribe of the 
critics on his former work of Weight, if not Merit, one set of whom — the 
most ancient, the wisest of them all — condemned it in the lump. A whole 
volume of ten thousand lines, in 07ie paragraph of their Monthly Catalogue, 
for which they were paid — "nothing ! without quoting one line ! Whereas a 
<core (.') out of some idle somiet, or some wire-drawn Cibberian ode, shall te 
Jield up out of the mud with a placid grin of applause. The author has for- 
given them, and keeps, therefore, the name of their pamphlet in the back 
ground, in the charitable hope of their having fifteen years ago, repented of 
that injustice.'' This ponderous work however, to which the author alludes, 
was his ' Poems and Imitations of the British Poets, in one large vol. in 4to. 
price only £1 Is. on excellent paper and print ! The same price as even ' Jef- 
frey Gambado's Gambol of Horsemanship^ went off as current, at the same 
time. He out-jockeyed me ; I always was a bad Horseman." (fee, &c. 

As illustrating one of the extreme points of human nature, I may casually 
mention that after Mr. Churchey's death, which soon succeeded the issuing of 
liis ' Apology,' from understanding that his widow was in straitened circum- 
stances, and meeting with a gentleman who was going to Brecon, I requested 
the favor of him to convey her a guinea, as a small present. A week after, I 
received a letter from the widow, thankin^me for my kind remembrance, but 

she said that she was not benefited by it, as Mr. said to her, ' This is 

a guinea sent to you from Mr. Cottle, of Bristol, but as your husband owed me 
money, I shall carry it to the credit of his account ;' when, buttoning his 
pocket, he walked away.' I immediately sent another guinea, and requested 
her not to name so disreputable an action, in one, from whom I had hoped 
better conduct. This gentleman, till the period of his death, twenty years 
after, always shunned me ! At the time the abstraction took place, he was a 
wealthy man, and kept his carriage ; but from that time he declined in pros- 
perity, and died in indigence. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 173 

recollect of the nature of your complaint, it is an inveterate 
inflammation, and this I believe to be completely withm the reach 
of art." '- '^ 

In the year 1814, after an hemorrhage from the lungs, and 
consequent debility, I relieved my mind by writing a kind, serious 
and faithful letter to my friend Southey, under an apprehension 
that it might be my last ; to which Mr. Southey returned the fol- 
lowing reply. 

-'Keswick, May 13, 1814. 
My dear Cottle, 

I have seen so dreadful a case of hemorrhao^e from the lun^s 
terminate favorably, that your letter alarms me less than other- 
wise it would have done. Basil Montague the younger, contin- 
ued to bleed at intervals for six weeks, in January and Feb- 
ruary last, and he has this day left Keswick without any danger- 
ous symptoms remaining upon him. Two other instances have 
occurred witliin my knowledge ; I will therefore hope for a favor- 
able termination. Your letter comes upon me w^hen I am like a 
broken reed, so deeply has the loss of Dan vers wounded me. 
Were I to lose you also, I should never have heart to visit Bristol 
again. 

What answer shall I make to your exhortations ? We differ, 
if indeed there be a difference, more in appearance than reality ; 
more in the form than in the substance of our belief. I have al- 
ready so many friends on the other side of the grave, that a large 
portion of my thoughts and affections are in another world, and 
it is only the certainty of another life, which could make the 
changes and insecurity of this life endurable. May God bless 
you, and restore you, my dear old friend, is the sincere prayer of 

Your affectionate 

Robert Southey." 

In the yea* 1816, Mr. Southey sustained a great loss in the 
death of his youngest son, a boy of promising talent, and endued 
with every quality which could attach a father's heart. Mr. S. 
thus announced the melancholy tidings. 



176 REMINISCENCES OF 

"Keswick, May 23, 1816. 
My dear Cottle, 

I know not whether the papers may have informed you of the 
severe affliction Avith which we have been visited, — the death of, 
my son ; a boy wlio was in all things after my own heart. You 
will be gratified to hear, however, that this sorrow produces in 
both our cases, that beneficial purpose for which such visitations 
were appointed . and in subtracting so large a portion of our 
earthly happiness, fixes our hearts and hopes with more earnest- 
ness on the life to come. Nothing else, I am well assured, could 
have supported me, though I have no ordinary share of fortitude. 
I know where to look for consolation, and am finding it where only 
it can be found. My dear Cottle, the instability of human prospects 
and enjoyments ! You have read ni}^ poem to the * Pilgrimage,' and 
before the book was published, the child of whom I had thus spo- 
ken, with such heartfelt delight, was in his grave ! But of this 
enough. We have many blessings left, abundant all, and of this, 
which was indeed the flower of all our blessings, we are deprived 
for a time, and that time must needs be short." --^ * * 

In the year 1817, Mr. Southey's juvenile drama of " Wat Tyler," 
was surreptitiously published ; written during the few months of 
his political excitement, when the specious pretensions of the 
French, carried away for a brief period, so many young and ardent 
minds. He thus noticed the circumstance. 

• 
'' My dear Cottle, 

You will have seen by the papers that some villain, after an 
interval of three and twenty years, has published my old uncle, 
* Wat Tyler.' I have failed in attempting to obtain an injunction, 
because a false oath has been taken, for the purpose of defeating 
me. ^ ^ * 

I am glad to see, and you will be very glad to hear, that this 
business has called forth Colei'idge, and with the recollections of 
old times, brought back something like old feelings. He wrote a 
very excellent paper on the subject in the ' Courier,' and I hope 
it will be the means of his rejoining us ere long ; so good will 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 177 

come out of eviL and the devil can do nothing but what he is 
permitted.* 

I am well in health, and as little annoyed by this rascality as it 
becomes me to be. The only thing that has vexed me, is the 
manner in which my counsel is represented in talking about my 
being ashamed of the work as a wicked performance ! Wicked ! 
My poor ' old uncle' has nothing wicked about him. It was the 
work of a right-honest enthusiast, as you can bear witness ; of one 
who was as upright in his youth as he has been in his manhood, 
and is now in the decline of his life ; who, blessed be God, has 
little to be ashamed before man, of any of his thoughts, words, or 
actions, Avhatever cause he may have for saying to his Maker, 
^ God be merciful to me a sinner.' God bless you, my old and 
affectionate friend, 

Robert Southey. 

I am writing a pamphlet, in the form of a letter, to Wm. 
Smith. Fear not, but that I shall make my own cause good, and 
set my foot on my enemies. This has been a wicked transac- 
tion. It can do me no other harm than the expense to which it 
has put me." 

'* Keswick, Sept. 2, 1817. 
My dear Cottle, 

* "^ "^ I have made a long journey on the continent, 
accompanied with a friend of my own age, and with Mr. Nash, 
the architect, who gave me the drawings of Waterloo. We went 

* In a letter sent to me by Mr. Foster, dated June 2*2, 1843, he thus explains 
the mysterious circumstances, relating to the publication of" Wat Tyler." 

" My dear sir, 

* * * I wonder if Mr. Southey ever did get at the secret history 
of that affair. The story as I heard it was, that Southey visited Winterbot- 
tom in prison, and just as a token of kindness, gave him the MS. of ' Wat 
Tyler.' It was no fault of Winterbottom that it was published. On a visit to 
some friends at Worcester, he had the piece w^ith him ; meaning I suppose, to 
afford them a little amusement at Southey's expense, he being held in great 
reproach, even contempt, as a turn-coat. At the house where Winterbottom 
was visiting, two persons, keeping the piece in their reach at bed-time, sat up 
all night transcribing it, of course giving him no hint of the manoeuvre. This 
information I had from one of the two operators." * * * 

8* 



178 REMINISCENCES OF 



by way of Paris to Besangon, into Switzerland : visited the Grand 
Cliartreuse, crossed Mont Cenis ; proceeded to Turin, and Milan, 
and then turned back by the lakes Como, Lugano, and Maggiore, 
and over the Siraplon. Our next business was to see the moun- 
tainous parts of Switzerland. From Bern we sent our carriage 
to Zurich, and struck off what is called the Oberland (upper-land.) 
After ten days spent thus, in the finest part of the country, we 
rejoined our carriage, and returned through the Black Forest. 
The most interesting parts of our homeward road were Danaus- 
trugen, where the Danube rises. Friburg, Strasburg, Baden, 
Carlsruhe, Heidelburg, Manheim, Frankfort, Mentz, Cologne, and 
by Brussels and Lisle, to Calais. 

I kept a full journal, Avhich might easily be made into an amus- 
ing and useful volume, but I have no leisure for it. You may 
well suppose what an accumulation of business is on my hands 
after so long an absence of four months. I have derived great 
advantage both in knowledge and health. God bless you, my 
dear Cottle. 

Yours most affectionately, 

Robert Southey. 

P. S. — Hartley Coleridge has done himself great credit at Ox- 
ford. He has taken what is called a second class, which, con- 
sidering the disadvantages of his school education, is as honorable 
for him as a first class for anybody else. In all the higher points 
of his examination, he was excellent, and inferior only in those 
minuter points, wherein he had not been instructed. He is on the 
point of taking his degree." 

"Keswick, Nov. 26, 1819. 
My dear Cottle, 

Last night I received a letter from Charles Lamb, telling me to 
what a miserable condition poor John Morgan is reduced ; not by 
any extravagance of his own, but by a thoughtless generosity, in 

lending to men who have never repaid him, and by , who 

has involved him in his own ruin ; and lastly by the visitation of 
providence. Everything is gone ! 

In such a case, what is to be done ? ' but to raise some poor 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 179 



annuity amongst his friends.' It is not likely to be wanted long. 
He has an hereditary disposition to a liver complaint, a disease of 
all others, induced by distress of mind, and he feels the whole 
bitterness of his situation. The palsy generally comes back to 
finish what it has begun. Lamb will give ten pounds a year. I 
will do the same, and we both do according to our means, rather 
than our will. I have written to Michael Castle to exert himself ; 
and if you know where his friend Porter is, I pray you communi- 
cate this information to him. We will try what can be done in 
other quarters."^ * ^ -^' 

''Keswick, June 25, 1823. 
My dear Cottle, 

* ^ ^^ I must finish my ' Book of the Church.' Un- 
der this title a sketch of our ecclesiastical history is designed. 
One small volume was intended, and behold it will form two 8vos. 
The object of the book is, to give those who come after us a 
proper bias, by making them feel and understand, how much .they 
owe to the religious institutions of their country. 

Besides this, I have other works in hand, and few things would 
give me more pleasure than to show you their state of progress, 
and the preparations I have made for them. If you would bring 
your sister to pass a summer with us, how joyfully and heartily 
you would be welcomed, I trust you both well know. Our friend- 
ship is now of nine and twenty years' standing, and I will venture 
to say, for you, or for us, life cannot have many gratifications in 

* Poor John Morgan was the only child of a retired spirit merchant of 
Bristol, who left him a handsome independence. He was a worthy kind- 
hearted man, possessed of more than an average of reading and good sense ; 
generally respected, and of unpresuming manners. He was a great friend 
and admirer of Mr. Coleridge ; deploring his habits, and laboring to correct 
them. Except Mr. Gillman there was no individual, with whom Mr. Cole- 
ridge lived gratuitously so much, during Mr. M.'s residence in London, ex- 
lending to a domestication of several years. When Mr. Morgan removed to 
Calne, in Wiltshire, for a long time, he gave Mr. C. an asylum, and till his 
affairs, through the treachery of others, became involved, Mr. Coleridge, 
through him, never wanted a home. That so worthy, and generous a minded 
man should have been thus reduced, or rather ruined in his circumstances, 
was much deplored by all who knew him, and marked the instability of hu- 
man possessions and prospects, often little expected by industrious parents. 



180 REMINISCENCES OF 



store greater than this would prove. Here are ponies accustomed 
to climb these mountains which will carry you to the summit of 
Skiddaw, without the slightest difficulty, or danger. And here is 
my boat, the ' Royal Noah,' in the lake, in which you may exer- 
cise your arms when you like. Within and without I have much 
to show you. You would like to see my children ; from Edith 
May, who is taller than her mother, down to Cuthbert, who was 
four years old in February last. Tlien there are my books, of 
Avhich I am as proud as you are of your bones. "^ They are not 
indeed quite so old, but then they are more numerous, and I am 
sure Miss C. will agree with me that they are much better furni- 
ture and much pleasanter companions. 

Not that I mean to depreciate your fossil remains. Forbid it all 
that is venerable. I should very much like to see your account 
of them. You gave me credit for more than is my due, when 
you surmised that the paper in the QuarteHy, (on the presumed 
alteration in the plane of the ecliptic,) might have been mine. I 
wri^e on no subject on which I have not bestowed considerable 
time and thought ; and on all points of science, I confess myself 
to be either very superficially informed, or altogether ignorant. 
Some day I will send you a list of all my papers in that journal, 
that you may not impute to me anything which is not mine ; and 
that, if you have any time such a desire, you may see what the 
opinions are that I have there advanced. Very few I believe in 
which you would not entirely accord with me. God bless you. 
Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

^'Keswick, April 7, 1825. 
My dear Cottle, 

You have indeed had a severe loss,f one of those which I know 

* A large collection of animal bones, many of them in a fossil state, con- 
sisting of the jaws and other bones, of tigers, hyenas, wolves, foxes, the 
horse, the bos, &c., the whole obtained by me, in the year 1822, from the 
Oreston caves, near Plymouth. The number of bones amounted to nearly 
two thousand. Many of the specimens were lent to Professor Buckland, to 
get engraved, for a new geological work of his. The major part of the collec- 
tion I presented to the Bristol Philosophical Institution. 

t The decease of the remarkable young lady. Sarah Saunders, my niece, to 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOIJTHEY. 181 



not how the heart could bear, if it were not for the prospect of 
eternity, and the full sense of the comparative nothingness of time, 
which that prospect produces. If I look on the last thirty years, 
things seem as but yesterday ; and when I look forward, the end 
of this mortal journey must be near, though the precise point 
where it will terminate is not in sight. Yet, were you under my 
roof, as I live in hope that one day you will be, you would recog- 
nize just as much of the original Robert Southey as you would 
wish to' see remaining ; — though the body is somewhat the worse 
for wear. 

I thought I had written to thank you for your ' Strictures on 
tlie Plymouth Antinomians,' which were w^ell deserved, and given 
in a very proper spirit. Ultra- Calvinism is as little to my liking 
as it is to yours. It may be, and no doubt is held by many good 
men, upon whom it produces no worse effects than that of narrow- 
ing charity. But Dr. Hawker, and such as the Hawkers, only 
push it to its legitimate consequences. 

At present, I am engaged in a war with the Roman Catho- 
hcs, a war in which there w411 be much ink shed, though not on 
my part, for when my ' Vindiciae ' are finished, I shall leave the 
field. When you see that book, you will be surprised at the ex- 
posure of sophistries, disengenuousness, and downright falsehoods, 
which it will lay before the world ; and you w^ll see the charge 
of systematic imposture proved upon the papal church. 

I must leave my home by the middle of next month, and travel 
for some weeks, in the hope of escaping an annual visitation of Ca- 
tarrh, which now always leaves cough behind it, and a rather 
threatening hold of the chest. I am going therefore to Holland, 
to see that country, and to look for certain ecclesiastical books, 
which I shall be likely to obtain at Brussels, or Antwerp, or on 
the way thither. 

A young friend, in the Colonial office, is to be one of my com- 
panions, and I expect that Neville White will be the other. It is 
a great effort to go from home at any time, and a great inconve- 
nience, considering the interruption which my pursuits must suffer ; 
still it is a matter of duty and of economy to use every means for 

whom the late Mr. Foster addresssd a series of letters, during her illness. 
These letters are printed in Mr. F.'s. " Life and Correspondence." 



18'J REMINISCENCES OF 

averting illness. If I can send home one or two chests of books, 
the pleasure of receiving them on my return is worth some cost. 

How you would like to see my library, and to recognize among 
them some volimies as having been the gift of Joseph Cottle, 
seven or eight and twenty years ago. I have a great many thou- 
sand volumes, of all sorts, sizes, languages, and kinds, upon all 
subjects, and in all sorts of trims ; from those which are displayed 
in ' Peacock Place,' to the ragged inhabitants of * Duck Row.* 
The room in which I am now writing contains two thousand four 
hundred volumes, all in good apparel ; many of them of singular 
rarity and value. I have another room full, and a passage full ; 
book- cases in both landing places, and from six to seven hundred 
volumes in my bedroom. You have never seen a more cheerful 
room than my study ; this workshop, from which so many works 
have proceeded, and in which among other things, I have written 
all those papers of mine, in the Quarterly Review, whereof you 
have a list below. ^' 

* LIST OF ARTICLES WRITTEN BY ROBERT SOUTHEY IN THE aUARTERLY RE- 
VIEW, TO APRIL, 1825. 

No. No. 

1 Baptist Mission in India 21 Nicobar Islands 

2 Portuguese Literature — Montgomery's World before the 

3 South Sea Missions Flood 

— Lord Valcntia's Travels 22 23 British Poets 

4 American Annals 23 Oriental Memoirs 

5 Life of Nelson 24 Lewis and Clark's Travels 

6 Season at Tongataboo — Barre Roberts 

— Graham's Georgics 25 Miot's Expedition to Egypt 

7 Observador Portuguez 25 Life of Wellington 

8 Feroe Islands 26 do. do. 

— On the Evangelical Sects 28 Alfieri 

11 Bell and Lancaster 29 Me. La Roche Jacqueline 

12 The Inquisition — The Poor 

— Montgomery's Poems 30 Ali Bey's Travels 

13 Iceland — Foreign Travellers in England 

14 French Revolutionists 31 Parliamentary Reform 

15 Count Julian 32 Porter's Travels 

— Calamities of Authors — Rise and Progress of Disaffection 

16 Manufacturing system and the 33 Tonga Islands 

Poor 35 Lope de Vega 

19 Bogue and Bennett's History 37 Evelyn on the means of Im- 
of the Dissenters proving the People. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 183 

The next month will have a paper of mine on the ' Church Mis- 
sionary Society,' and the one after, upon the 'Memoir of the 
Chevalier Bayard,' which Sarah Coleridge, daughter of S. T. Cole- 
ridge, has translated. 

Write to me oftener, as your letters will always have a*reply, 
let whose may go imanswered. God bless you, my dear old 
friend. 

Yours most affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

"Keswick, Feb. 26, 1826. 
My dear Cottle, 

I have sent you my Vindication of the * Book of the Church,' 
in which though scarcely half of what was intended to be com- 
prised, enough is done to prove the charge of superstition, impos- 
tures, and wickedness, upon the Romish Church. Whether I shall 
pursue the subject, in that form, depends on circumstances. I 
have employment enough in other ways, and would rather present 
my historical recollections in any form than that of controversy. 
Hi % % rjij^^ revelations of sister Nativity are mentioned 
in my ' Yindiciae.' You will see an account of this impious Ro- 
mish imposture in the next Quarterly. Such an exposure ought 
to open the eyes of those who are duped with the belief that the 
Roman Catholic religion is become innocent and harmless. 

Have I written to you since I was bug-bitten in France, and 

No. No. 

M Copy-Right Act 53 Camoens 

42 Cemeteries 55 Gregorie's Religious Sects 

43 Monastic Institutions 56 Infidelity 

45 Life of Marlborough 57 Burnett's Own Times 

46 New Churches 59 Dwight's Travels 
48 Life of Wm. Huntington, S. S 62 Hayley 

50 Life of Cromwell — Mrs. Baillie's Lisbon 

52 Dobrizhoffer 

Mr. Southey expressed an intention of sending me a list of all his remain- 
ing papers, in the " Quarterly," which intention was not fulfilled. Presum- 
ing on the accuracy of the present list, from Mr. S. himself, there must be 
some mistakes in the account of Mr. Southey's contributions, as stated in that 
old and valuable periodical, the " Gentleman's Magazine," for 1844 and 1845. 



184 REMINISCENCES OF 



laid up in consequence, under a surgeon's hands in Holland ? 
This mishap brought with it much more immediate good than 
evil. Bilderdyk, whose wife translated ' Don Roderic ' into Dutch, 
and who is himself confessedly the best poet, and the most learned 
man jn that country, received me into his house, where I was 
nursed for three weeks by two of the very best people in the 
world. But the effects of the accident remain. On my way 
home, owing perhaps to the intense heat of the weather, erysipe- 
las showed itself on the wounded part. The foot also has been in 
a slight degree swollen, and there is just enough sense of uneasi- 
ness to show that something is amiss. My last year's journey 
succeeded in cutting short the annual catarrh, which had for so 
many years laid me up during the summer months. I shall try 
the same course as soon as the next summer commences. 

Will you never come and visit me, and see how that hair looks, 
which I doubt not keeps its color so well in Vandyke's portrait ? 
now it is three parts gray, but curling still as strong as in youth. 
I look at your portrait every day and see you to the life, as you 
were thirty years ago ! What a change should we see in each 
other now, and yet how soon should we find that the better part 
remains unchanged. 

The day before yesterday I received your two volumes of 
* Malvern Hills, Poems, and Essays,' fourth edition, forwarded to 
me from Sheffield, by James Montgomery. You ask my opinion 
on your ninth essay (on the supposed alteration in the planes of 
the equator and the ecliptic suggested by an hypothesis in the 
Quarterly). I am too ignorant to form one. The reasoning seems 
conclusive, taking the scientific part for granted, but of that 
science, or any other, I know nothing. This I can truly say, that 
the essays in general please me very much. That I am very glad 
to see those concerning Chatterton introduced there ; — and very 
much admire the manner, and the feeling, with which you have 
treated Psalmanazar's story. You tell me things respecting Chat- 
terton wliich were new to me, and of course interested me much. 
It may -be worth while, when you prepare a copy for repub- 
lication, to corroborate the proof of liis insanity, by stating that 
there was a constitutional tendency to such a disease, which 
places the fact beyond all doubt. * * * 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 185 



Thank you, for the pains you have taken about * Bunyan.' The 
first edition we cannot find, nor even ascertain its date. The first 
edition of the Second part we have found. An impudent asser- 
tion, I learn from ' Montgomery's Essay,' was pubhshed, that the 
Pilgrim's Progress' was a mere translation from the Dutch. I 
have had the Dutch book, and have read it, which he who made this 
assertion could not do. The charge of plagiarism is utterly false, 
not havinp^ the slightest foundation. When you and I meet in the 
next world, we will go and see John Bun3"an, and tell him how I 
have tinkered the fellow, for tinker him I will, avIio has endeavored 
to pick a hole in his reputation. God bless you, my dear old 
friend, 

Robert Sou they. 

P. S. There are two dreams that may be said to haunt me, they 
recur so often. The one is, that of being at Westminster school 
again, and not having my books. The other is, that I am at Bris- 
tol, and have been there some indefinite time ; and unaccountably, 
have never been to look for you in Brunswick Square, for vv hich I 
am troubled in conscience. Come to us, and I will pledge myself 
to visit you in return when next I travel to the south." 

In a letter to Mr. Southey, I m.entioned that a relation of Wm. 
Gilbert had informed me that he was hurt with Mr. S. for having 
named him, in his 'Life of Wesley,' as being tinctured with in- 
sanity; a fact notorious. Mr. G. had often affirmed that there 
was a nation of the Gilbertians in the centre of Africa, and ex- 
pressed a determination of one day visiting them. In the year 
1V96, he suddenly left Bristol, without speaking to any one of his 
friends ; and the inference draAvn, was that he was about to com- 
mence his African expedition. I had also mentioned that Sir 
James Mackintosh had expressed an opinion that Mr. Southey had 
formed his style on the model of Horace Walpole. These prelim- 
inary remarks are necessary to the understanding of the following 

letter. 

« 

*' Keswick, Feb. 26. 
My dear Cottle, 

What you say about poor Gilbert has surprised me. You know 
we lost sight of him after he left Bristol, with, according to our 



18o REMINISCENCES OF 

apprehension, the design of going to Liverpool, and from thence 1 
to procure a passage to Africa. On that occasion, after consult- 
ing Avith Danvers, and I think with you, I wrote to Roscoe, apolo-J 
gizing, as a stranger, for the liberty, requesting him to caution any 
captain of a ship, bound to the African coast, from taking a per-1 
son in his state of mind on board. Roscoe rephed very courteously, 
and took the desired precaution, but Gilbert never appeared at 
Liverpool. Some tim^e afterward it was told me that he was dead, 
and believing him so to be, I mentioned him in the life of Wesley, 
(Vol. 2. p. 467,) speaking of him as I had ever felt, with respect 
and kindness, but in a way which I should not have done if I had 
not been fully persuaded of his death. 

Mackintosh's notice, as you inform me, that my style is founded 
on Horace Walpole, is ridiculous. It is founded on nobody's. I 
say what I have to say as plainly as I can, without thinking of 
the style, and this is the whole secret. I could tell by what poets 
my poetry has successively been leavened, but not what prose 
writers have ever in the same manner influenced me. In fact, I 
write as you may always have remarked, such as I always con- 
verse, without effort, and without aiming at display. 

^' ^' ^' ^' Poor Llorgan, you know, was latterly 

supported by a subscription, which Charles Lamb set on foot, and 
which was to have been annual, but he died within the year. 

Just now I am pressed for time to finish the * Life of Cowper.* 
This Life will interest you, not merely because you (I know) 
would read with partial interest anything of mine, but because 
many circumstances are there stated which have never before been 
made public. 

You may have heard that a new edition of my * Life of Wesley' 
is promised. Such an accumulation of materials has been poured 
upon me by a Mr. Marriott, well known among the Methodists, 
that I shall have to add a fourth, or perhaps, a third part of new 
matter, besides making many corrections and alterations. I have 
also got possession of the remaining papers of Mr. Powley, .who 
married Miss Unwin. His widow died last year ; and thus they 
became accessible. There were in the collection a good many 
letters of Mr. Newton, whose letters to Mr. Thornton, I have had f 
before, and made great use of them in the 1st vol. of Cowper 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUT^EY. 187 



From these papers I shall -learn much concerning the first pro- 
ceedings of the evangelical clergy, and expect to collect some 
materials for the ' Biographical Notes,' AYhich must accompany 
' Cowper's Letters ;' and still more for the religious history of 
* Wesley's Times,' as connected with the progress of Methodism. 
God bless you, my dear old friend, 

Robert Southey." 

"Keswick, Nov. 4, 1828. 
My dear Cottle, 

Shame on me that your last friendly letter should have remained 
so long unanswered, and that the direct motive for writing now 
should be a selfish one ; one, however, in which I know you will 
take some interest, on more accounts than one. 

Major, in Fleet Street, is about to publish an edition of the 
Pilgrim's Progress, for which I have undertaken to write an in- 
troductory life of the author. You need not be told how dearly I 
love John Bunyan. 'Now he has made inquiries among public and 
private libraries for the first edition, and can nowhere discover a 
copy. It has occurred to me that it may be in the Bristol Baptist 
Library, and if you will make this inquiry for me, and in case it 
be there, ascertain whether it difters from the foho edition of Bun- 
yan's works, you will do me a great kindness."^ * ^ -^ 

* Every effort was made by me both by advertising and inquiry but no 
tidings of the first edition of Bunyan could be obtained in these parts. Very 
recently I learnt that the first edition has been discovered, and that the partic- 
ulars might be learned of E. B. Underbill. Esq., Newmarket House, near 
Nailsworth, Gloucestershire. Upon my writing to this gentleman he politely 
favored me with the following gratifying reply. 

'' Feb. 27, 1847. 
Dear Sir, 

In answer to your inquiry, the first edition of the first part of the Pilgrim's 
Progress is the property of J. S. Holford, Esq., a gentleman of large posses- 
sions in this county. It was first made known I believe, by the Art-Union, 
that this unique volume was in existence. Some time last summer I applied 
to Mr. H. for liberty to inspect it, and if agreeable to him, to reprint it. This 
he at once most liberally granted, and at the request of the council of the 
Hanserd Knollys' Society, George Offer, Esq., one of our members undertook 
the task of editor. The book is in a high state of preservation ; both the 
paper and binding being as fresh as they left the hands of the binder. Mr. 



188 REMINISCENCES OP 



That I should be somewhat the worse for the wear was to be ex- 
pected, but I am not more so than you would look to see me ; 
still active, cheerful, with a good appetite for books, and not an 

Offer has most Iciboriously collated it with subsequent editions, and has found 
many curious and singular discrepancies. 

I remain, yours most truTy, 
Jos. Cottle. Edwd. B. Underliill." 

In this publication will be found all the desired information on this interest- 
ing subject. 

liCtter from Mr. Offer to Mr. Cottle, on transmitting to him Mr. O.'s corres- 
pondence with Mr. Southey, relating to a charge of Plagiarism in John 
Bunyan. 

" Hackney, March 6, 1847. 
Dear Sir, 

Enclosed I send you copies of the correspondence relative to ' Bunyan's 
Pilgrim's Progress,' with Mr. Southey. 

About the year 1825, two gentlemen called to see my book rarities, and 
among them a copy of ' Duyf ken's ande Willemynkyns Pilgrimagee,' with 
five cuts by Bolswert, published at Antwerp, 1627, the year before Bunyan's 
birth. The first plate represents a man asleep — a pilgrim by his bed-side — in 
the perspective two pilgrims walking together, they are then seen on the 
ground by some water — in the extreme distance the sun setting. Another 
plate represents the two pilgrims in a fair. Punch and Judy, &c. A third, one 
pilgrim under a rock, within a circle of candles, a magician with his wand, 
smoke and demons over the dismayed pilgrim's head. A fourth, two pilgrims 
ascending a steep hill, one of them falling head-long down. From a glance 
of a few moments at this curious book, there shortly afterwards appeared in 
a newspaper in the North, an account of Bunyan's having borrowed some of 
his plot from this work. This was answered by Mr. Montgomery, and others. 
Upon Mr. Southey not being able to find the book, when he had undertaken 
to write the ' Life and Times of Bunyan,' he addressed a letter to his pub- 
lisher Mr. Major, in which he sa3^s, ' Can 3^ou give me Mr. Douce's direction, 
that I may ask him for some account of the French poem? Cottle refers me 
to ' Dunlop's History of Fiction,' for an account of a German book, which is 
of the same character. Bunyan I am sure knew nothing either of the one oi 
the other. If the allegory was not an extension of the most common and ob- 
vious of all similitudes — the f^enii of it might be found in his own works.' 
Major asked my advice, and I showed him the book and gave him some Httle 
account of it : and soon after I received from Dr. Southey the following 
letter. 

' Keswick, IG April, 1829. 
Sir, — Mr. Major has favored me with your account of the Dutch work m 
your possession, which in many parts bears a remarkable resemblance to the 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY". 189 

ill one for work. Some things I shall have to send you both in 
prose and verse, before the winter passes away. ^ ^ * ^ 
Remember me in the kindest manner to , and to , 

' Pilgrim's Progress.' It would require the strongest possible evidence to con- 
vince me, against my will, that Bunyan is not an original writer. The book 
we know he could not have read in the original : and if there had been a 
translation of it, it is hardly likely that it should have remained undiscovered 
till this time ; it being almost impossible that it should come into the hands of 
any one who had not read the Pilgrim's Progress. This is possible, that Bun- 
yan may have heard an account of the book from some Dutch baptist in Eng- 
land, or some EngUsh one who had seen it in Holland. I do not think that 
his obligations to it can have been more than this ; but of this I can better 
judge when I have perused the book, which my knowledge of the language 
enables me to do, if you favor me with it. 

Great men have sometimes been plagiarists ; a grave charge of this kind has 
recently been proved upon Lord Bacon, — no less than that of having taken 
the fundamental principle of his philosophy from his namesake, Roger, and 
claimed it as his own. Bunyan, I am fully persuaded, was too honest and too 
righteous a man to be guilty of any such baseness. He was in a beaten path 
of Allegory, — a name, a hint he may have taken, but I think nothing more. 
You will judge from this, sir, how very far from my intentions or inchnation, 
it would be, in the slightest respect, to depreciate John Bunyan, whose book 
I have loved from my childhood. And whatever his obligations to the Dutch- 
man may have been, if any there should prove to be, it is surely better that 
they should be stated by one who loves and honors his memory, than brought 
forward hereafter by some person in a different spirit ; for nothing of this kind 
can long escape discovery now. My present persuasion is, that he owes no- 
tliing to it directly. Something perhaps, indirectly, but not much. And I 
promise you that I will do him no wrong. 

Should you favor me by intrusting me with the book, I shall of course make 
due mention of the obligation you have conferred. 

I remain, sir, yours with respect, 

To George Offer, Esq. Robert Southey.' 

The book was immediately sent, and shortly returned with the following 
note and letter. 

' Keswick, 25 April, 1829. 
Sir, — Your book has been four and twenty hours in my possession, and I 
return it with many thanks, having perused it carefully, made notes from it, 
and satisfied myself most completely, that there is not the slightest reason for 
supposing Bunyan had ever heard of it, nor that he could ever have taken 
even a hint from it, if he had read it. 

I remain, sir, yours truly, 
T© Greorge Oflfer, Esq. Robert Southey.' 



190 REMINISCENCES OF 

and to . When I think of you all, old times return with the 

freshness of a dream. In less time than has elapsed since we 
were all young together, we shall be together again, and have 
dropped the weight of years and mortality on the way. 

If my old acquaintance, Isaac James be living, remember me 
to him with cordial good will. • God bless you, my dear oid 
friend. 

Robert Southey." 



The following letter was addressed to Mr. Major. 

' Keswick, April 25, 1829. 
Dear Sir, 

You will perceive by the return of one of your treasures, that the precious 
parcel arrived safely. I have read through the ' Dutch Original,' and made 
notes from it ; — there is not the slightest resemblance in it to anything in the 
' Pilgrim's Progress.' The three striking circumstances which you mentioned 
of the ' Hill of Difficulty,' the ' Slough of Despond,' and ' Vanity Fair,' do 
not afford any ground for supposing that Bunyan had ever heard of this book; 
or that even if he had read it, he should have taken one hint from it. Here 
the incidents are, 1st that the wilful Pilgrim stops in a village crowd to see 
some juggler's tricks at a fair, and certain vermin in consequence shift their 
quarters from some of the rabble close to her, to her person. 2nd. That by 
following a cow's track instead of keeping the high road, she falls into a ditch. 
And 3rd. That going up a hill at the end of their journey, from whence Jeru- 
salem is in sight, she climbs too high in a fit of presumption, is blown down, 
and falls into the place whence there is no deliverance. I am very glad to 
have had an opportunity of comparing it with the French translation, in 
which, as you may suppose, everything which is national, and peculiar, and 
racy, is lost. 

The author's name is not to be found in ' Poppen's Bibliotheca Belgica.' 
Another and larger bible of the same country, ought to be on its way to me 
from Brussels at this time, and there I shall no doubo find an account of him. 
But the inquiry is not worth much trouble, seeing how completely all imita- 
tion or even resemblance will be disproved by an account of the book. By 
the by, it cannot be very rare in its own country, seeing it was popular enough 
for a French translation to be /-^-printed more than a hundred years after its 
first appearance. Believe me, dear sir, 

Yours faithfully, 

Robert Southey.'' 

The volume contains 294 pages in Dutch. Read, analyzed, and a very 
correct account of it completed in 24 hours ! ! 

I am, my dear sir, yours truly, 
Joseph Cottle. George Offer, 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 191 

"Keswick, March 22, 1831. 
My dear Cottle, 

Your package arrived safely yesterday afternoon. I shall get the 
books with which you presented me furbished up, and write in 
each that it was your gift ; — a pleasant memorandum which is 
found in others on these shelves. I like to give books this inci- 
dental value, and write therefore, the date, and place, in every 
fresh acquisition. Many recollections do they call up, which oth- 
erwise would have passed away. You who have knowm me from 
the beginning of my authorial life, ought to see this library of 
mine. As I think no man ever made more use of his books, so I 
am sure that no man ever took more delight in them. They are 
the pride of my eyes, and the joy of my heart ; an innocent 
pride, I trust, and a wholesome joy." 

The reader's attention will now be directed to Mr. Coleridge, 
by introducing a letter from Mr. C. to Mr. Wade, who had written 
to him for advice respecting a meditated excursion to Germany. 

"March 6, 1801. 
My very dear Friend, 

I have even noAv received your letter. My habits of thinking 
and feeling, have not hitherto inclined me to personify commerce 
in any such shape, so as to tempt me to turn pagan, and offer 
vows to the goddess of our isle. But when I read that sentence 
in your letter, ' The time will come I trust, when I shall be 
able to pitch my tent in your neighborhood,' I was most potently 
commanded to a breach of the second commandment, and on my 
knees, to entreat the said goddess, to touch your bank notes and 
guineas with her magical multiplying w^and. I could offer such 
a prayer for you, with a better conscience than for most men, 
because I know that you have never lost that healthy common 
sense, which regards money only as the means of independence, 
and that you would sooner than most men cry out, enough ! 
enough ! To see one's children secured against want, is doubtless 
a delightful thing ; but to wish to see them begin the world as 
nch men, is unwise to ourselves, for it permits no close of our 
labors, and is pernicious to them ; for it leaves no motive to their 



192 REMINISCENCES OF 



exertions, none of those sympathies with the industrious and the 
poor, which form at once the true rehsh and proper antidote of 
wealth. 

-.V -ic % jg ^^^ March rather a perilous month for the voyage 
from Yarmouth to Hamburg ? danger there is very little, in the 
packets, but I know what inconvenience rough weather brings 
with it ; not from my own feelings, for I am never sea-sick, but 
always in exceeding high spirits on board ship, but from what I 
see in others. But you are an old sailor. At Hamburg 1 have 
not a shadow of acquaintance. My letters of introduction pro- 
duced for me, with one exception, viz., Klopstock, the brother of 
the poet, no real service, but merely distant and ostentatious 
civility. And Klopstock will by this time have forgotten my 
name, which indeed he never properly knew, for I could speak 
only English and Latin, and he only French and German. At 
Ratzeburgh, 35 English miles N. E. from Hamburg, on the road 
to Lubec, I resided four months ; and I should hope, was not un- 
beloved by more than one family, but this is out of your route. 
At Gottingen I stayed near five months, but here I knew only 
students, who will have left the place by this time, and the high 
learned professors, only one of whom could speak English ; and 
they are so Avholly engaged in their academical occupations, that 
they w^ould be of no service to you. Other acquaintance in Ger- 
many I have none, and connection I never had any. For though 
I was much entreated by some of the Literati to correspond with 
them, yet my natural laziness, with the little value I attach 
to literary men, as literary men, and with my aversion from those 
letters which are to be made up of studied sense, and unfelt com- 
pliments, combined to prevent me from availing myself of the 
offer. Herein, and in similar instances, with Engrlish authors of 
repute, I have ill consulted the growth of my reputation and 
fame. But I have cheerful and confident hopes of myself. If I 
can hereafter do good to my fellow-creatures as a poet, and as a 
metaphysician, they will know it ; and any other fame than this, 
I consider as a serious evil, that would only take me from out the 
number and sympathy of ordinary men, to make a coxcomb of 
me. As to the inns or hotels at Hamburg, I should recommend 
you to some German inn. Wordsworth and I were at the * Der 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 193 



Wilde Man/ and dirty as it was, I could not find any inn in 
Germany very much cleaner, except at Lubec. But if you go to 
an English inn, for heaven's sake avoid the ' Shakspeare,' at Al- 
tona, and the ' King of England,' at Hamburg. They are houses of 
plunder rather than entertainment. ' The Duke of York' hotel, 
kept by Seaman, has a better reputation, and thither I would 
advise you to repair ; and I advise you to pay your bill every 
morning at breakfast time : it is the only way to escape imposi- 
tion. What the Hamburg merchants may be I know not, but 
the tradesmen are knaves. Scoundrels, with yellow- white phizzes, 
that bring disgrace on the complexion of a bad tallow candle. 
Now as to carriage, I knovv' scarcely what to advise ; only make 
up your mind to the very Avorst vehicles, with the very worst 
horses, driven by the very worst postilions, over the very worst 
roads, and halting two hours at each time they change horses, at 
the very worst inns ; and you have a fair, unexaggerated picture 
of travelling in North Germany. The cheapest way is the best ; 
go by the common post waggons, or stage coaches. What are 
called extraordinaries, or post-chaises, are little wicker carts, un- 
covered, with movable benches or forms in them, execrable in 
every respect. And if you buy a vehicle at Hamburg, you can 
get none decent under thirty guineas, and very probably it will 
break to pieces on the infernal roads. The canal boats are de- 
lightful, but the porters everywhere in the United Provinces, are 
an impudent, abominable, and dishonest race. You must carry as 
little luggage as you well can with you, in the canal boats, and 
vvhen you land, get recommended* to an inn beforehand, and bar- 
^^ain with the porters first of all, and never lose sight of them, or 
70U may never see your portmanteau or baggage again. 

My Sarah desires her love to you and yours. God bless your 
lear little ones ! Make haste and get rich, dear friend ! and bring 
ip the httle creatures to be playfellows and schoolfellows with my 
ittk ones ! 

Again and again, sea serve you, wind speed you, all things turn 
ut good to you ! God bless you, 

S. T. Coleridge." 



Asa curious literary fact, I might mention that the sale of the first 

9 



i 



194 RE3IINISCENCES OF 

edition of the " Lyrical Ballads," was so slow, and the severity 
of most of the reviews so great, that tlieir progress to oblivion, 
notwithstanding the merit whicli I was quite sure they possessed, 
seemed ordained to be as rapid as it was certain. 1 had given 
thirty guineas for the copy-right, as detailed in the preceding 
letters ; but the heavy sale induced me at length, to part with, 
at a loss, the largest proportion of the impression of five'lmndred, 
to Mr. Arch, a London bookseller. After this transaction harl 
occurred, I received a letter from Mr. Wordsworth, written tho 
day before he set sail for the continent, requesting me to mak'^ 
over my interest in the '' Lyrical Ballads" to Mr. Johnson, of St. 
Paul's Churchyard. This I could not have done, had I been so 
disposed, as the engagement had been made with Mr. Arch. 

On Mr. W.'s return to England, I addressed a letter to him, ex- 
plaining the reasons Vvhy I could not comply v/ith his request, to 
vfhich he thus replied : 

" My dear Cottle, 

I perceive that it vrould have been impossible for you to com- 
ply with my request, respecting the ' Lyrical Ballads,' as you had 
entered into a treaty with Arch. How is the copy-right to he 
disposed of when you quit the bookselling business ? We wero 
much amused with the 'Anthology.' Your poem of the ' Kill- 
crop' we liked better than any ; only we regretted that you did 
not save the poor little innocent's life, by some benevolent art or 
other. You might have m.anaged a little pathetic incident, in 
which nature, appearing forcibly in the child, might have worked 
in some way or other, upon its superstitious destroyer. 

We have spent our time pleasantly enough in Germany, but we 
are right glad to find ourselves in England, for we have learnt to 
know its value. We left Coleridofe well at Gottino-en, a month 
ago. '^ '"^' "'• '^"^ God bless you, my dear Cottle, 

Your affectionate friend, 

W. Wordsworth." 

Soon after the receipt of the above, I received another letter 
from Mr. W. kindly urging me to pay him a visit in the north, in 
which, as an inducement, he says, 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 195 

'^ ^'' '^ " Write to me beforehand, and I will accom- 
pany you on a tour. You will come by Greta-bridge, which is 
about twenty miles from this place, (Stockburn ;) and after we 
have seen all the curiosities of that neighborhood, I will accom- 
pany you into Cumberland and Westmoreland. '•' '^ '" 
God bless you, dear Cottle, 

W. W.'^ 

A short time after the receipt of this invitation, Mr. Coleridge 
arrived in Bristol from Germany, and as he was about to pay Mr. 
Wordsworth a visit, he pressed me to accompany him. I had in- 
tended a journey to London, and now determined on proceeding 
with so agreeable a companion, and on so pleasant a journey and 
tour ; taking the metropolis on my return. To notice the com- 
plicated incidents which occurred on this tour, would occupy a 
large space. I therefore pass it all over, with the remark, that 
in this interview with Mr. Wordsworth, the subject of the 
''Lyrical Ballads" was mentioned but once, and that casually, and 
only to account for its failure I which Mr. W. ascribed to two 
causes ; first the '' Ancient Mariner," which, he said, no one 
seemed to understand ; and secondly, the unfavorable notice of 
most of the reviews. 

On my reaching London, having an account to settle with 
Messrs. Longman and Rees, the booksellers of Paternoster Row, 
I sold them all my copy-rights, which were valued as one lot, by a 
third party. On my next seeing Mr. Longman, he told me, that 
in estimating the value of the copy-rights. Fox's "Achmed," and 
Wordsworth's ''Lyrical Ballads," were ''reckoned as nothing.'' 
" That being the case," I replied, " as both these authors are my 
personal friends, I should be obliged, if you would return me 
again these two copy-rights, that I may have the pleasure of pre- 
senting them to the respective writers." Mr. Longman answered, 
with his accustomed liberality, " You are w^elcome to them." On 
my reaching Bristol, I gave Mr. Fox his receipt for twenty guineas ; 
and on Mr. Coleridge's return from the north, I gave him Mr. 
Wordsworth's receipt for his thirty guineas ; so that whatever ad- 
vantage has arisen, subsequently, from the sale of this volume of 



196 REMINISCENCES OF 



the '' Lyrical Ballads," I am happy to say, has pertained ex- 
clusively to Mr. W. 

I have been the more particular in these statements, as it 
furnishes, perhaps, the most remarkable instance on record, of a 
volume of Poems remaining for so long a time, almost totally 
neglected, and, afterwards acquiring, and that in a rapid degree, 
so much deserved popularity.^' 

A month or two after Mr. Coleridge had left Bristol for Ger- 
many, Dr. Beddoes told me of a letter he had just received from 
his friend, Davies Giddy, (afterward with the altered name of 
Gilbert, President of the Royal Society,) recommending a very 
ingenious young chemist, of Penzance, in Cornwall, to assist him in 
his Pneumatic Institution, at the Hotwells. " The character is 
so favorable," said the Dr. " I think I shall engage him ;" handing 
me the letter. I read it, and replied, ''You cannot err in re- 
cei\ing a young man thus recommended." Two or three weeks 
after. Dr. B. introduced me to no other than Mr. afterwards Sir 
Humphrey Davy. (Mr. Giddy little thought that this " young 
chemist of Penzance," was destined to precede himself, in occupy- 
ing the chair of Xewton.) 

This Pneumatic Institution, for ascertaining how far the differ- 
ent gases, received into the lungs, were favorable, or not, to cer- 
tain diseases, has often been referred to ; but its origin, that I am 
aware of, has never been stated. It has erroneously been sup- 
posed, to have depended for its establishment and support, exclu- 
sively on Dr, Beddoes. But being acquainted with the circum- 
stances of the case,, it is right to mention, that this Gaseous In- 
stitution resulted from the liberality of the late Mr. Lambton, 

* Mr. Southey in a letter to me, dated May 13, 1799, thus writes : " Arch, 
wh« purchased of you the the first edition of Wordsworth's ' Lyrical Ballads,' 
tells me that he expects to lose by them!" 

It reflects credit on Hannah More, to whom I had presented the first vol- 
ume, that she immediately perceived the merits of the " Lyrical Ballads." On 
my visiting Barley Wood soon after, she said to me, " Your young friend 
Wordsworth, surpasses all your other young friends," when producing the 
book, she requested me to read several of the poems, which I did, to the great 
amusement of the ladies. On concluding, she said, " I must hear ' Harry 
Gill,' once more." On coming to fie words, *' O, may he never more be 
warm !" she lifted up her hands in sinihng horror. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 197 



(father of the late Eaii of Durham). When Mr. L. heard from 
Dr. Beddoes an opinion expressed, that Medical science might be 
greatly assisted by a fair and full examination of the effects of 
factitious airs on the human constitution, particularly in reference 
to consumption ; to obtain this '' fair and full examination," Mr. 
Lambton immediately presented Dr. B. with the munificent sum of 
fifteen hundred pounds. One other individual also, contributed 
handsomely towards the same object, — the late Mr. Thomas 
Wedge wood, w^ho presented Dr. B. with one thousand pounds, for 
the furtherance of this design.* 

It might be here mentioned, that a few months after this, two 
intelligent-looking boys w^ere often seen wdtli Dr. B. with whom 
they were domesticated. The Dr. w^as liberally remunerated for 
superintending their education, (with suitable masters ;) and this 
he did at the dying request of their father, who had recently de- 
ceased in Italy. Dr. Beddoes took great pains with these boys, 
so that when they entered at Eton, they w^ere found quite equal 
to other boys of their own age in classical attainments, and greatly 
their superiors in general knowledge. The father w^as the above 
Mr. Lambton, and one of the two boys, was the late Earl of Dur- 
ham. One of the precepts strongly inculcated on these youths, 
was, '' Xever be idle, boys. Let energy be apparent in all you 
do. If you play, play heartily, and at your book, be determined 
to excel. Languor is the bane of intellect." 

I remember to have seen Mr. Lambton at Dr. B.'s. He had a 
fine countenance, but it betrayed the hue of consumption. After 
havino' been for some time under the care of Dr. Beddoes, the Dr. 
recommended his patient to try a w^armer climate, when Mr. L, 
departed for Italy. Mr. Lambton's health still declining, and 
considering that his only chance for life depended on the skill of 
his own experienced physician, he wrote to Dr. Beddoes, urging 
him, w^ithout delay to set off, I think for Naples. This I received 
from Dr. B. himself, w^ho said, at the same time, '' On Monday 
morning I shall set off for Italy." But before Monday, the tidings 
arrived that Mr. Lambton w^as dead ! 

* The house of the Pneumatic Institution was situated in Dowry Square, 
Hot wells; the house in the corner, forming the north-east angle of the 
Square. 



198 REMINISCENCES OP 



The two young Lambtons had tlie iidditioniil privilege of hving 
under the same roof with Mr. Davy, and on various occasions 
through hfe, the Earl of Durham and his brother have testified a 
deep sense of respect and friendship for the illustrious chemist 
who so enlivened and edified their younger days. 

When Dr. Beddoes introduced to me young Mr. Davy, (being 
under twenty,) I w^as much struck with the intellectual charac- 
ter of his face. His eye was piercing, and when not engaged in 
converse, was remarkably introverted, amounting to absence, as 
though his mind had been pursuing some severe trains of thought 
scarcely to be interrupted by external objects ; and from the first 
intervHiew also, his ingenuousness impressed me as much as his 
mental superiority. Mr. D. having no acquaintance in Bristol, I 
encouraged, and often received his visits, and he conferred an ob- 
ligation on me, by often passing his afternoons in my company. 
During these agreeable interviews, he occasionally amused me by 
relating anecdotes of himself ; or detailing his num.erous chemical 
experiments ; or otherwise by repeating his poems, several of 
which he gave me (still retained) ; and it was impossible to doubt 
that if he had not shone as a philosopher, he would have become 
conspicuous as a poet.^ 

I must now refer again to the Pneumatic Institution, to which 
the medical world looked with some anxiety, and which excited 
much conversation in the circle where I happened to Ije placed. 
Dr. Beddoes early in the year 1798, had given an admirable course 
of Lectures in Bristol, on the principles and practice of chem- 
istry, and which were rendered popular by a great diversity of 
experiments ; so that, with other branches of the science, the gases 
had become generally familiar. The establishment of the Pneumatic 
Institution immediately following, the public mind was prepared, 
in some measure, to judge of its results ; and a very considerable 

* Mr. Davy often asked me to attend his experiments, at the Wells, and as 
an evidence of the zeal with which he washed to induce as many as he could 
to pursue his favorite chemistry, in consequence of my taking great interest 
in his proceedings, he urged me to pursue chemistry, as a science. To prove 
that he was in earnest, he bought for me a box of chemical tests, acids, alka- 
lies, glass tubes, retorts, blow-pipe, trough, &c, &c. and assisted me in some 
of my first experiments. The trough I occasionally use at the present time. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEV. 199 



increase of confidence was entertained, from the acknowledged 
talents of the young superintendent ; so that all whicli could be 
accomplished was fully calculated upon. The funds also which 
supported the Institution being ample, the apparatus corresponded, 
and a moi-e persevering and enthusiastic experimentalist than Mr. 
Davy, the wdiole kingdom could not liave produced ; an admission 
which Yv-as made by all vrho knew him, before the profounder 
parts of his character had been de^/eloped. No personal danger 
restrained him from determining facts, as the data of his reason- 
ing ; and if Fluxions, or some other means, had not conveyed the 
information, sucli was his enthusiasm, he would almost have 
sprung from the perpendicular brow of St. Vincent to determine 
bis precise time, in descending from the top to the bottom. 

I soon learnt from Mr. J), himself the course of his experi- 
ments; many of whicli vrere in the highest degree luizardous, 
when, with friendly earnestness, I warned him against his immi- 
nent perils. lie seemed to act, as if in case of sacrificing one 
life, jie had Uvo or three others in reserve on Vvdiich he could fall 
back in case of necessity. lie occ?isionally so excited my fears, 
that I half despaired of seeing him alive the next morning. He 
has been known sometim.es to breathe a deadly gas, with his fin- 
ger on his pulse, to determine hovr^ much could be borne, before a 
serious declension occurred in the vital action. The great hazards 
to which he exposed himself maybe estimated by the follov^dng 
slight detail. 

Dr. Mitchell, as well as Dr. Priestly, had stated the fatal effects 
on animal life, of the gaseous oxiae of azote ; Mr. Davy, on the 
contrary, for reasons which satisfied himself, thought it respirable 
in its pure state ; at least, that a single inspiration of this gas 
might neither destroy, nor materially injure the powers of life. 
He tried one inspiration. No particularly injurious effects fol- 
lowed. He noAV breathed, out of his (/reen hag, three quarts of 
this nitrous oxide, (gaseous oxide of azote,) when it was attended 
with a degree of giddiness, great fulness in the head, and with 
loss of distinct sensation and voluntary power, analogous to in- 
toxication. Not being able fully to determine whether the gas 
was " stimulant" or " depressing," he now breathed four quarts 
of it from his green hag, when an irresistible propensity to action 



'200 REMINISCENCES OF 



followed, with motions, various and violent. Still, not being sat- 
isfied, he proceeded in his experiments, and at length found that 
he could breathe nine quarts for three minutes, and twelve quarts 
for rather more than four, but never for five minutes, without the 
danger of fatal consequences, as before five minutes had expired, 
the mouth -piece generally dropped fj'om his unclosed lips. By 
breathing from six to seven quarts only, muscular motions were 
produced, and he manifested the pleasure it excited, by stamping, 
laui^binof dancino* shoutino-, (fee. 

At another time, having ascertained that his pure nitrous oxide 
was eminently stimulant, he wanted to determine whether the sys- 
tem, in a high state of stimulation, would then be susceptible of 
a proportionate accession of stimulus from his new gas ; like that 
Avhich would be experienced by the man, w^ho, after taking one 
bottle of wine, drank a second ; and to acquire demonstration on 
this nice subject, (although he v/as a confirmed water-drinker,) to 
form the basis of his experiment, he drank off with all dispatch a 
whole bottle of v/me, the consequence of v/hich was, that he first 
reeled, and then fell dov»m insensibly drunk. After lying in this 
state for two or three hours, he awoke with a sense of nausea, 
headache, and the usual effects of intoxication. At the first re- 
turn of recollection, however, undaunted by the past, the young 
enthusiastic philosopher called out for the g^'een hag, when he 
breathed twelve quarts of nitrous oxide, for three or four minutes. 
The consequence of this was, he became a second time intoxicated, 
though in a less degree, when he strode across the room, and by 
stamping, laughing, dancing, aM vociferation, found that the same 
effects followed, which attended his former experiment, without 
any increase of stimulus from the vvine. 

All the gases that had hitherto been the subject of investigation, 
sunk in importance before this nitrous oxide, which the perseverance 
of Mr. Davy had now obtained in its pure state, in any quantity, 
and consequently divested of that foreign admixture which ren- 
dered it usually so destructive. He had also ascertained the quan- 
tity which might safely be admitted into the lungs. Dr. Beddoes 
was sanguine as lo its medical qualities, and conceived that, if not 
a specific, it might prove highly advantageous in paralysis, and 
pulmonary aflfections ; and, in conjunction with these benefits, he 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 201 



well knew it would confer importance on his own Pneumatic In- 
stitution. As Dr. B. meditated a publication expressly on this 
subject, he was desirous of collecting the testimony of others, for 
which purpose, he persuaded several of his friends to breathe this 
innocent, but exhilarating nitrous oxide, while they described, and 
he recorded their sensations. 

Mr. Southey, Mr. Clayfield, Mr. Tobin, and others inhaled the 
new air. One, it made dance, another, laugh, while a third, in 
his state of excitement, being pugnaciously inclined, very uncour- 
teously struck Mr. Davy rather violently w^ith his fist. It became 
now an object with Dr. B. to witness the effect this potent gas 
might produce on one of the softer sex, and he prevailed on a 

courageous young lady, (Miss ,) to breathe out of his pretty 

green hag, this delightful nitrous oxide. After a few inspirations, 
to the astonishment of everybody, the young lady dashed out of 
the room and house, when, racing doAvn Hope-square, she leaped 
over a great dog in her way, but being hotly pursued by the fleet- 
est of her friends, the fair fugitive, or rather the temporary maniac, 
was at length overtaken and secured, without further damage. 

Dr. Beddoes now expressed a Avish to record my testimony also, 
and presented me his green hag ; but being satisfied with the 
effects produced on others, I begged to decline the honor. The 
Pneumatic Institution, at this time, from the laughable and diver- 
sified effects produced by this new gas on different individuals, 
quite exorcised philosophical gravity, and converted the laboratory 
into the region of hilarity and relaxation. The young lady's 
feats, in particular, produced great merriment, and so intimidated 
the ladies, that not one, after this time, could be prevailed upon 
to look at the green hag, or hear of nitrous oxide, without horror | 

But more perilous experiments must now be noticed. Mr. Davy 
having succeeded so well with the nitrous oxide, determined even 
to hazard a trial with the deadly nitrous gas. For this purpose 
he placed in a bag, " one hundred and fourteen cubic inches of. ni- 
trous gas," and knowing that unless he exhausted his lungs of the 
atmospheric air, its oxygen w^ould unite with the nitrous gas, and 
produce in his lungs aqua-fortis, he wisely resolved to expel, if 
possible, the whole of the atmospheric air from his lungs, by some 
contrivance of his own. For this purpose, in a second bag, he 

9^- 



202 REMINISCENCES OF 



placed seven quarts of nitrous oxide, and made from it three in- 
spirations, and three expirations, and tlicn instantly transferred his 
mouth to the nitrous gas bag, and turning the stop-cock, took one 
inspiration. This gas, in passing through his mouth and fauces, 
burnt his throat, and produced such a spasm in the epiglottis, ps 
to cause him instantly to desist, when, in breathing the common 
air, aqua-fortis was really formed in his mouth, which burnt his 
tongue, palate, and injured his teeth. Mr. D. says, ''I never de- 
sign again to repeat so rash an experiment." 

But though this experiment might not be repeated, there was 
one other nearly as dangerous, to which Mr. Davy's love of sci- 
ence prompted him to resort ; not by trying it on another, but, 
generously, on himself. 

Mr. Davy wished to determine whether the carburetted hydro- 
gen gas, was so destructive to animal life as had been repre- 
sented. In its pure state, one inspiration of this gas was under- 
stood to destroy life, but Mr. D. mixed three quarts of the gas, 
with two quarts of the atmospheric air, and then breathed the 
whole for nearly a minute. This produced only slight effects, 
(nothing to an experimental chemist ;) merely " giddiness, pain in 
the head, loss of voluntary povrer," (fee. 

The spirit of inquiry not being to be repressed by these trilling 
inconveniences, Mr. Davy was noAv emboldened to introduce into 
his green bag, four quarts of carburetted hydrogen gas, nearly 
pure. After exhausting his lungs in the usual way, he fiiade two 
inspirations of this gas. The first inspiration produced numbness 
and loss of feeling in the chest. After the second, he lost all 
power of perceiving external things, except a terrible oppression 
on his chest, and he seemed sinking fast to death ! He had just 
consciousness enough to remove the mouth-piece from his un- 
closed lips, when he became wholly insensible. After breathing 
the common air for some time, consciousness was restored, and 
Mr. Davy faintly uttered, as a consolation to his then attendant, 
Mr. John Tobin, " I do not think I shall die." 

Such are some of the appalling hazards encountered by Mr. 
Davy, in his intrepid investigation of tlie gases. These destruc- 
tive experiments, during his residence at Bristol, piobably, pro- 
duced those affections of the chest, to which he was subject 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHED. 203 

through life, and wliich, beyond all question, shortened his days. 
Nothing at this moment so excites my surprise, as that Mr. D.'s 
life should have been protracted, with all his unparalleled indiffer- 
ence concerning it, to the vast age, for him, of fifty years. 

I cannot here withhold an ungracious piece of information. In 
the prospect of this establishment, great expectations had been 
raised, and the afflicted of all descriptions, were taught to expect 
a speedy cure ; so that when the doors were opened, no less than 
seventy or eighty patients, progressively applied for the gratui- 
tous alleviation of their maladies. But it is too great a tax on hu- 
man patience, when cures are always promised, but never come. 
No one recovery, in an obstinate case, had occurred : in conse- 
quence of which, many patients became dissatisfied, and remitted 
their attendance. Independently of which, an idea had become 
prevalent amongst the crowd of afflicted, that they were merely 
made the subjects of experiment, which thinned the ranks of the 
old applicants, and intimidated nevr. It might be said, that pa- 
tients after a certain period had so ominously declined, that the 
very fire was likely to become extinguished for want of fuel. In 
order that the trials might be deliberately proceeded in, a fortu- 
nate thought occurred to Dr. Beddoes ; namely, not to hrihe, but 
to reioard all persevering patients ; for Mr. Davy informed me, 
that, before the Pneumatic Institution vras broken up, they allowed 
every patient sixpence per diem ; so that when all hopes of cure 
had subsided, it became a mere pecuniary calculation with the 
sufterers, whether, for a parish allowance of three shillings a 
week, they should submit or not, to be drenched with these nau- 
seous gases. 

This Pneumatic Institution, though long in a declining state, 
protracted its existence for more than two years, till the depart- 
ure from Bristol of Mr. D., and then by its failure, it established 
the useful negative fact, however mortifying, that medical science 
was not to be improved through the medium of factitious airs. 

I happened to be present when Mr. W. Coates casually named 
to Mr. Davy, then just turned of twenty, that his boy the preced- 
ing evening, had accidentally struck one piece of cane against 
another, in the dark, and which produced light. It was quite im- 
pressive to -notice the intense earnestness with which Mr. D. 



204 REMIMSCENCES OF 



heard this fact which, by others, might have been immediately 
forgotten. Mr. D. on the contrary, without speaking, appeared 
lost in meditation. He subsequently commenced his experiments 
on these canes, and thus communicated the results to his friend 
Mr. Giddy, (now Gilbert.) 

" My dear Friend, 

* ^' '^ '^ 1 have now just room to gi\'e you an 
account of the experiments I have lately been engaged in. 

First. One of Mr. Coates's children accidentally discovered that 
two bonnet-canes rubbed together produced a faint light. The 
novelty of this experiment induced me to examine it, and I found 
that the canes on collision, produced sparks of light, as brilliant 
as those from flint and steel. 

Secondly. On examining the epidermis, I found, when it was 
taken off, that the canes no longer gave light on collision. 

Thirdly. The epidermis, subjected to chemical analysis, had all 
the properties of silex. 

Fourthly. The similar appearance of the epidermis of reeds, 
corn, and grasses, induced me to suppose that they also contained 
silex. By burning them carefully and analyzing their ashes, I 
found that they contained it in rather larger proportions than 
the canes. 

Fifthly. The corn and grasses contain sufficient potash to form 
glass with their flint. A very pretty experiment may be made on 
these plants with the blow-pipe. If you take a straw of wheat, 
barley, or hay, and burn it, beginning at the top, and heating the 
ashes with a blue flame, you will obtain a perfect globule of hard 
glass, fit for microscopic discovery." 

The circumstance, that all canes, as well as stravv^s and hollow 
grasses, have an epidermis of silex, is one of the most singular 
facts in nature. Mr. Davy, in another place, has stated the advan- 
tages arising to this class of vegetables, from their stony external 
concretion : namely, " the defence it off*ers from humidity ; the 
shield which it presents to the assaults of insects ; and the strength 
and stability that it administers to plants, which, from being hoi' 
low, without this support, would be less perfectly enabled to re* 
sist the eff'ect of storms." 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOLTHEV. '20b 

Those canes which are not hollow, are long and slender, and 
from Wanting the power to sustain themselves, come usually in 
contact with the ground, when they would speedily decay, from 
moisture, b'at from the impenetrable coat of mail with which 
nature has furnished them. But questions still arise for future 
investigators. How came the matter of flint to invest those 
plants which most need it, and not others ? Whence does this 
silex come ? Is it derived from the air, or from water, or from 
the earth ? That it emanates from the atmosphere is wholly in- 
admissible. If the silex proceed from water, where is the proof ? 
and how is the superficial deposit effected ? Also, as silex is not 
a constituent part of Avater, if incorporated at all, it can be held 
only in solution. By what law is this solution produced, so that 
the law of gravity should be suspended ? If the silex be derived 
from the earth, by what vessels is it conveyed to the surface of 
the plants ? and, in addition, if earth be its source, how is it that 
earth-seeking, and hollow plants, with their epidermis of silex, 
should arrise in soils that are not silicious ? being equally predom- 
inant, whether the soil be calcareous, argillaceous, or loamy. 
The decomposition of decayed animal and vegetable substances, 
doubtless composes the richest superficial mould ; but this soil, so 
favorable for vegetation, gives the reed as much silex, but no 
more, in proportion to the size of the stalk, than the same plants 
growing in mountainous districts, and primitive soils. It is to be 
regretted, that the solution of these questions, with others that 
might be enumerated, had not occupied the profoundly investiga- 
ting spirit of Mr. Davy ; but which subjects now offer an ample 
scope for other philosophical speculators. 

It is a demonstrative confirmation of the accuracy of Mr. Da- 
vy's reasoning, that a few years ago, after the burning of a large 
mow, in the neighborhood of Bristol, a stratum of pure, compact, 
vitrified silex appeared at the bottom, forming one continuous 
sheet, nearly an inch in thickness. I secured a portion, which, 
with a steel, produced an abundance of bright sparks. 

Upon Mr. Coleridge's return from the north, to Bristol, where 
he meant to make some little stay, I felt peculiar pleasure in in- 
troducing him to young Mr. Davy. The interview was mutually 
agreeable, and that which does not often occur, notwithstanding 



206 REMINISCENCES OF 

their raised expectations, each, afterwards, in referring to the 
other, expressed to nrie the opinion, that his anticipations had 
been surpassed. They frequently met each other under my roof, 
and their conversations were often brilHant ; intermixed, occasion- 
ally, with references to the scenes of their past lives. 

Mr. Davy told of a Cornish young man, of philosophical habits, 
who had adopted the opinion that a firm mind might endure in 
silence, any degree of pain : showing the supremacy of '' mind 
over matter." His theory once met with an unexpected confuta- 
tion. He had gone one morning to bathe in Mount's Bay, and as 
he bathed, a crab griped his toe, when the young philosopher 
roared loud enough to be heard at Penzance.^ 

Mr. Coleridge related the following occurrence, which he re- 
ceived from his American friend, Mr. Alston, illustrating the effect 
produced on a young man, at Cambridge University, near Boston, 
from a fancied apparition. '' A certain youth," he said, " took it 
into his head to convert a Tom-Painish companion of his, by ap- 
pearing as a ghost before him. He accordingly dressed himself 
in the usual way, having previously extracted the ball from the 
pistol which always lay near the head of his friend's bed. Upon 
first awaking and seeing the apparition, A., the youth who was to 
be frightened, suspecting a trick, very coolly looked his compan- 
ion, the ghost, in the face, and said, ' I know you. This is a good 
joke, but you see I am not frightened. Now you may vanish/ 
The ghost stood still. 'Come,' said A., 'that is enough. I 
shall get angry. Away ! ' Still the ghost moved not. Ex- 
claimed A., 'If you do not in one minute go away, I will shoot 
you.' He w^aited the time, deliberately levelled his pistol, fired, 
and with a scream at the motionless immobility of the figure, was 
convinced it was a real ghost — became convulsed, and from the 
fright, afterwards died." 

Mr. Coleridge told also of his reception at a Hessian village, 
after his visit to the Hartz mountains, and the Brocken. Their 
party consisted of himself, Mr. Carlyon, and the two Mr. Parrys 
(sons of Dr. Parry, of Bath — one of them the Arctic explorer). 
The four pedestrians entered the village late of an evening, and 
repaired to the chief ale-house, w^earied with a hard day's journey, 
* This young Philosopher was suspected to be Mr. Davy, himself. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 207 



in order to be refreshed and to rest for the nio-ht. The larp-e room 

o o 

contained many of the neighboring peasants. " What can we have 
to eat?" said Mr. Coleridge. "Nothing," was the reply. "Can 
we have beds ?" " ]S"o," answered the master of the house. " Can 
we have some straw on which to lie ?" " None, none," was the 
reply. On which Mr. Coleridge cried out, "Are the Hessians 
christians ?" To have their Christianity doubted, was an insuffer- 
able insult, and to prove their religion, one man in a rage, hurled 
a log of wood at Mr. C, w^hich, if it had struck him, would have 
laid him prostrate ! But moTe effectually to prove that they were 
christians, "good and true," the men, in fierce array, now marched 
up, and roughly drove the saucy Englanders out of the house, to 
get lodgings where they could. From the extreme wrath of the 
insulted peasants, the travellers were apprehensive of some w^orse 
assault ; and hurrying out of the village, weary, and hunger-smit- 
ten, bivouacked under a tree, determined never again to question 
a Hessian's Christianity, even under the gallows. 

On one occasion, Mr. Coleridge entered into some of his college 
scenes, to one of which I may here refer. He said that, perhaps, 
it was culpable in him not to have paid more attention to his dress 
than he did when at the University, but the great excluded the 
little. He said that he was once walking through a street in 
Cambridge, leaning on the arms of two silk gowns, when his own 
habiliments formed rather a ludicrous contrast. His cap had the 
merit of having^ once been new : and some untoward rents in his 
gown, which he had a month before intended to get mended, left 
a strong tendency, in some of its posterior parts, to trail along the 
ground in the form, commonly called " tatters." The three friends 
were settling the exact site of Troy, or some other equally momen- 
tous subject, when they were passed -by two spruce gownsmen, 
one of whom said to the other, which just caught the ear of Mr. 
C, " That sloven thinks he can hide his ribbons by the gowns of 
his companions." Mr. C. darted an appalling glance at him, and 
passed on. He now learned the name, and acquired some par- 
ticulars respecting the young man who had offended him, and 
hastened home to exercise his Juvenalian talent. 

Tlie next day he gave his satire to a friend, to show it to the 
young man, who became quite alarmed at the mistake he had 



208 REMINISCENCES OF 



made, and also at the ominous words, " He who wrote this can 
write more." The cauldron might boil over with fresh '^ bubble, 
bubble, toil and trouble." There was no time to lose. He there- 
fore immediately proceeded to Mr. C.'s chambers; apologized for 
his mconsiderate expressions; thought him to have been some 
'' rough colt," from the country, again begged his pardon, and 
received the hand of reconciliation. This young, miscalculating 
Cantabricrian, now became one of Mr. C.'s warmest friends, and 
rose to eminence.'^ 

The satire was singularly cutting. I can recall but two uncon- 
nected lines : 

'• With eye that looks around with asking gaze, 
And tongue that trafficks in the trade of praise. "f 

Mr. Coleridofe now told us of the most remarkable of his Cam- 
bridge eccentricities, that of his having enlisted as a soldier. He 
had previously stated to me many of the following particulars, yet 
not the whole ; but (having taken a deep interest in this singular 
adventure), in addition to that which I heard from Mr. C, who 
never told all the incidents of his military life to any one person, 
but on the contrary, detailed some few to one, and some few to 
another, I made a point of collecting from different friends, every 
scattered fact I could obtain, and shall now throw the whole into 
one narrative. 

But before I proceed, I must take some notice of a statement 
on this subject, communicated to the public, by Mr. Bowles, 
wherein his account appears to clash with mine. Of this gentle- 
man (with whose name and writings I have connected so many 
pleasant remembrances, from early life), I wish to speak with the 
utmost respect ; but the truth Mr. B. himself will be glad to learn. 

Mr. Bowles states a circumstance relating to what he calls, 
** The most correct, sublime, chaste, and beautiful of Mr. Cole- 
ridge's poems; the 'Religious Musings ;' " namely, that "it was 
written, non inter sylvas academi, but in the tap-room at Reading." 
This information could not have been received from Mr. C, but 
perhaps was derived from the imperfect recollection of Captain 0.. ; 

* The late Archdeacon Wrangham. 
t Afterwards incorporated in another poem. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 209 



but whoever the informant may have been, the assertion has not 
the merit of being founded on a shadow of accuracy. The poem 
of the ''Rehgious Musings" vfas not written "in the tap-room at 
Reading," nor till long after Mr. C. had quitted his military life. 
It was written partly at Stowey ; partly on Redcliff Hill ; and 
partly in my parlor, where botli Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Southey 
occasionally wrote their verses. TJiis will have sufficiently ap- 
peared by Mr. C.'s own letters ; to vrhich I could add other deci- 
sive evidence, if the subject w^ere of more consequence. 

I now proceed with tlie narrative of Mr. Coleridge's military 
adventures, chiefly collected from liimself, but not inconsiderably 
from the information of other of his more intimate friends ; par- 
ticularly R. Lovell ; aliliough I must apprise the reader that after 
a lapse of forty years, I cannot pledge myself for every individual 
word ; a severity of construction vrhich neither my memoranda 
nor memory would authorize. In ordei- not to interrupt the reader, 
by stating that this was derived from one source, and that from 
another, (at this time hardly to be separated in my own mind,) I 
shall narrate it as though Mr. Coleridge had related the v.hole at 
once, to Mr. Davy and myself. 

Mr. Coleridge now told us of one of his Cambridge eccentrici- 
ties which highly amused us. He j-aid that he had paid his ad- 
dresses to a Mary Evans, who rejecting his offer, he took it so 
much in dudgeon, that he withdrew from the University to Lon- 
don, when, in a reckless state of mind, he enlisted in the 15th, 
Elliot's Light Dragoons. No objection having been taken to his 
height or age, he was asked his name. lie had previously deter- 
mined to give one that was thoroughly Kamschatkian, but having 
noticed that morning over a door in Lincoln's Inn Fields, (or the 
Temple,) the name of " Cumberbatcii," (not Comberback,) he 
thought this word sufficiently outlandish, and replied ''Silas 
Tomken Cumberbatch,"'^ and such was the entry in the regimen- 
tal book. 

Here, in his new capacity, laborious duties devolved on Mr. 
C. He endeavored to think on Caesar, and Epaminondas, and 
Leonidas, with other ancient heroes, and composed himself to his 

* These three initials would be the proper S. T, C. affixed to his garments. 



210 REMINISCENCES OP 



fate ; remembering, in every series, there must be a commence- 
ment : but still he found confronting him no imaginary incon- 
veniences. Perhaps he who had most cause for dissatisfaction, 
was the drill sergeant, wlio thought his professional character en- 
dangered ; for after using his utmost efforts to bring his raw 
recruit into something like training, he expressed the most serious 
fears, from his unconquerable awkwardness, that he never sliould 
be able to make a soldier of hiiii I 

Mr. C. it seemed, could not even rub down his ov,ai horse, Avhich, 
however, it should be known, vras rather a restive one, who, like 
Cowper's hare, '' vroiild bite if he could," and in addition kick 
not a httle. AVe could not suppose that these predispositions in 
the martial siced were at all aggravated by the unskilful jockey- 
ship to w^hich he was subjected, but the sensitive quadruped did 
rebel a little in th© stable, and wince a httle in the field ! Per- 
haps the poor animal was something in the state of the horse that 
carried Mr. Wordsworth's " Idiot Boy," who, in his sage contem- 
plations, '' wondered" — '' Yfhat he had got upon his back!" This 
rubbinnf down his horse was a constant source of annoyance to 
Mr. C, ^\\\o thought tliat tlie most rational way was, — to let the 
horse rub himself dovrn, shaking lumself clean, and so to shine in 
all his native beauty; but on this subject there were two opinions, 
and his that vras to decide carried most weight. If it had not 
been for the foolish and fastidious taste of the ultra precise ser- 
geant, this whole mass of trouble might be avoided, but seeing 
the tiling must be done, or pujiishment ! he set about the liercu- 
lean task witli tlie firmness of a Walienstein ; but lo ! the 
paroxysm was brief, in the necessity that called it forth. Mr. C. 
overcame this immense difficulty, by bribing a young man of the 
regiment to perform the achievement for him ; and that on very 
easy terms ; namely, by writing for him some " Love Stanzas," 
to send to his sweetheart ! 

Mr. Coleridge, in tlie midst of all his deficiencies, it appeared; 
was liked by tlie men, although he was the butt of the whole 
company ; being esteemed by them as next of kin to a natural, 
though of a peculiar kind — a talking natural. This fancy of theirs 
was stoutly resisted by the love-sick swain, but the regimental 
logic prevailed ; for, whatever they could do, with masterly deX' 



J 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 211 

teritj, lie could not do at all, ergo, must he not be a natural ? 
There was no man in the regiment v/ho met with so many falls 
from his horse, as Silas Tomken Cumberbatcli I He often calcu- 
lated with so little precision his due equilibrium, that, in mount- 
ing on one side, (perhaps the wTong stirrup,) the probability was, 
especially if his horse moved a little, that he lost his balance, and 
if he did not roll back on this side, came down ponderously on 
the other ! when the laugh spread amongst the men, " Silas is off 
again !" Mr. C. had often heard of campaigns, but he never 
before had so correct an idea of hard service. 

Some mitigation was now in store for Mr. C. arising out of a 
whimsical circumstance. He bad been placed as a sentinel, at the 
door of a ball-room, or some public place of resort, when two 
of his officers, passing in, stopped for a moment, near Mr. C, 
talking about Euripides, tvro lines from whom, one of them re- 
peated. At the sound of Greek, the sentinel instinctively turned 
his ear, when he said, w^ith all deference, toucliing his lofty cap, 
" I hope your honor will excuse me, but tlie lines you have re- 
peated are not quite accurately cited. These are the lines," when 
he gave them in their more correct form. "Besides," said Mr. 
C, " instead of being in Euripides, the lines will be found in the 
second antistrophe of the * /Edipus of Sopliocles.' " '' Why, man, 
who are you ?" said the officer, " old Faustus ground young 
again?" ''I am your honor's humble sentinel," said Mr. C, 
again touching his cap. 

The officers hastened into the room, and inquired of one and 
another, about that " odd fish," at the door ; when one of the 
iness (it is believed the surgeon) told them, that he had his eye 
upon him, but he v/ould neither tell where he came from, nor 
anything about his family of the Cumberbatches ; "but," con- 
tinued he, " instead of his being an ^ odd fish,' I suspect he must 
be a ' stray bird' from the Oxford or Cambridge aviary." They 
learned ako, the laughable fact, that he was bruised all over, by 
frequent falls from his horse. " Ah," said one of the officers, 
*' we have had, at different times, two or three of these ' Uni- 
versity birds' in our regiment." This suspicion was confirmed by 
one of the officers, Mr. Nathaniel Ogle, who observed that he had 
noticed a line of Latin, chalked under one of the men's saddles, 



212 REMINISCENCES OF 

and was told, on inquirin<r whose saddle it was, that it was 
" Cumberbatcli's." 

The officers now kindly took pity on the 'poor scholar,' and 
had Mr. C. removed to the medical department, where he was 
appointed assistant in tlie regimental hospital. This change was 
a vast improvement in Mr. C.'s condition ; and happy was the 
day, also, on which it took place, for the sake of the sick patients ; 
for, Silas Tomken Cumberbatch's amusing stories, they said, did 
them more good than all the doctor's physic ! Many ludicrous 
dialogues sometimes occurred between Mr. C. and his new disci- 
pies ; particularly with one w4io was '' the geographer." The 
followinor are some of these dialoQ-ues. 

If he began talking to one or two of his comrades ; for they 
were all on a perfect equality, except that those who w^ent through 
their exercise the best, stretched their necks a little above the 
'' awkward squad," in w^hich ignoble class Mr. C. was placed, as 
the pre-eminent member, ahnost by acclamation ; if he began to 
speak, notwithstanding, to one or two, others drew near, increas- 
ing momently, till by-and-bye the sick-beds were deserted, and 
Mr. C. formed the centre of a large circle. 

On one occasion he told them of the Peloponnesian war, which 
lasted twenty-seven years. '' There must have been famous pro- 
motion there," said one poor fellow, haggard as a death's head. 
Another, tottering with disease, ejaculated, '' Can you tell, Silas, 
how many rose from the ranks ?" 

He now still more excited their wonderment, by recapitulating 
the feats of Archimedes. As the narrative proceeded, one re- 
strained his scepticism, till he was almost ready to burst, and then 
vociferated, " Silas, that's a He !" " D'ye think so ?" said Mr. C. 
smiling, and went on with his story. The idea, however, got 
amongst them, that Silas's fancy was on the stretch, when Mr. C. 
finding that this tack would not do, changed his subject, and told 
them of a famous general, called Alexander the Great. As by a 
magic spell, the flagging aftention was revived, and several, at the 
same moment, to testify their eagerness, called out, "The general! 
The general !" " I'll tell you all about him," said Mr. C. when 
impatience marked every countenance. He then told them whose 
son this Alexander the Great Avas ; no less than PhiHp of Macedon. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 213 



** I never heard of hini," said one. " I think I have," said the 
<' geographer," ashamed of being thought ignorant, '' Silas, wasn't 
he a Cornish man ? I knew one of the Alexanders at Truro !" 

Mr. C. now Avent on describing to them, in glowing colors, the 
valor, and the wars, and the conquests of this famous general. 
''Ah," said one man, whose open mouth had complimented the 
speaker, for the preceding half hour ; "Ah," said he, " Silas, this 
Alexander must have been as great a man as our Colonel !" 

Mr. C. now told them of the " Retreat of the Ten Thousand." 
'' I don't like to hear of retreat," said one. " Nor I," said a 
second : " I'm for marching on." Mr. C. now told of the inces- 
sant conflicts of these brave warriors, and of the virtues of the 
" square." " They were a parcel of crack men," said one. 
"Yes," said another, " their bayonets fixed, and sleeping on their 
arms day and night." ''I should like to know," said a fourth, 
" what rations were given with all that hard fighting ;" on which 
an Irishman replied, '' to be sure, every time the sun rose, two 
pounds of good ox beef, and plenty of whiskey." 

At another time he told them of the invasion of Xerxes, and 
his crossing the tvide Hellespont. "Ah," said a young recruit, (a 
native of an obscure village in Kent, who had acquired a decent 
smattering of geography, — knowing well that the world was 
round, and that the earth was divided into land and water, and, 
furthermore, that there were more countries on the globe than 
England, and who now wished to raise his pretensions a little be- 
fore his comrades ; said this young man of Kent : " Silas, I know 
where that ' Helspont ' is. I think it must be at the mouth 
of the Thames, for His very wide." 

Mr. C. now told them of the heroes of Thermopylae, when the 
geographer interrupted him, by saying, " Silas, I think I know, 
too, where that ' Thermopple ' is ; isn't it somewhere up in the 
north ?" " You are quite right. Jack," said Mr. C. " it is to the 
north of the Line." A conscious elevation marked his counte- 
nance, and he rose at once, five degrees in the estimation of his 
friends. 

In one of these interesting conversaziones, when Mr. C. was 

sitting at the foot of a bed, surrounded by his gaping comrades, 

I who were always solicitous of, and never wearied with, his stories. 



214 REMINISCENCES OF 



the door suddenly burst open, and in came two or three gentle- 
men, (his friends,) looking some time, in vain, amid the uniform 
dresses, for their man. At length, they pitched on Mr. C.,and 
taking him by the arm, led him, in silence, out of the room, (a 
picture indeed, for a Wilkie 1) As the supposed deserter passed 
the threshold, one of the astonished auditors uttered, with a sigh, 
''Poor Silas ! I wish they may 1 ^,t him off with a cool five hun- 
dred !" Mr. C.'s ransom was soon joyfully adjusted by his friends, 
and now the wide world once more lay before him.^* 

A very old friend of Mr. Coleridge has recently furnished me 
with the two following anecdote^ of Mr. C. which were also new 
to me. 

The inspecting officer of his regiment, on one occasion, was ex- 
amining the guns of the men, and coming to one piece which was 
rusty, he called out in an authoritative tone, " Whose rusty gunf | 

* This account of Mr. Coleridge's military life, I read to Mr. Wade, who 
remarked that the greater part of what hj had heard, Mr. Coleridge had, at 
different times, repeated to him. Mr. W. haxing been an old and steady 
friend of Mr. C. I expressed a desire that he v/ould read the whole MS. Me- 
moir thoughtfully, in my presence, on successive mornings, and, without he?"- 
tation, dissent, if he thought it needful, from any of my statements. He after- 
wards remarked, •• I have read deliberately the whole manuscript with intense 
interest, as all who knew Coleridge will, and, I think, those who knew 
him not. It is Coleridge himself, undisguised. All the statements I believ." 
to be correct. Most of them I know to be such. There is nothing in this 
xMemoir of our friend to which I object ; nothing which I could wish to sc' 
omitted." He continued, " With respect to those letters relating to opium, 
I think you would be unfaithful, if you were to suppress them: but that letter 
addressed to me, must be published, (according to Mr. Coleridge's solemn in- 
junction,) either by you, or myself The instruction to be derived from this 
and his penitential letters addressed to you, is incalculable. All my friends 
unite with me in this opinion." 

Mr. W. related, at this time, one circumstance, received by him from Mr. 
Coleridge, which was new to me, and which is as follows. One of the men 
in Mr. C.'s company, had, it appeared, a bad case of the small pox, when Mr. 
C. was appointed to be his nurse ^ night and day. The fatigue and anxiety, 
a id various inconveniences, involved in the superintendence on this his sorely 
diseased comrade, almost sickened him of hospital service : so that one or two 
^ore such cases would have reconciled him to the ranks, and have made him 
covet, once more, the holiday play of rubbing down his horse. 

•)■ At the time Mr. Coleridge belonged to the 15th Light Dragoons, the men 
carried carbines, in addition to swords and pistols. More recently, a snorter 
gun has been substituted, called a fusee. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 215 



is this ?" when Mr. Coleridge said, " Is it very rusty, Sir?'' " Yes 
Cumberbatch, it 2*5," said the officer, sternly. " Then, Sir," re- 
plied Mr. C. ''it must be mine !" The oddity of the reply dis- 
armed the officer, and the poor scholar escaped without punisli- 
ment. 

Mr. Coleridge vras a remarkably awkward horseman, so mucli 
so, as generally to attract notice. Some years after this, he was 
riding along the turnpike road, in the county of Durham, when a 
wag, approaching him, noticed his peculiarity, and (quite mistaking 
his man) thought the rider a' fine subject for a little sport ; when, 
as he drew near, he thus accosted Mr. C. ''I say, young man, did 
you meet a tailor on the road V'' '' Yes," replied Mr. C. (who 
was never at a loss for a rejoinder.) '' I did ; and he told me if I 
went a little further I should meet a goose!'' The assailant was 
struck dumb, while the traveller jogged on. 

Mr. C. gave me these, his translations from the German. 

ON A BAD RF.ADK.^ OP HIS OWN VERSES. 

Hoarse Msevius reads his hobbling verse 

To all, and at all times, 
And deems them both divinely smooth, 

His voice, as well as rhymes. 

But folks say Maevius is no ass ! 

But Ma3vius makes it clear. 
That he's a monster of an ass, 

An ass without an ear. 



If the gailt of all lying consists in deceit, 

Lie on — 't is your duty, sweet youth ! 
For believe me, then only we find you a cheat, 

When you cunningly tell us the truth. 

As Dick and I at Charing Cross v/ere walking, 
Whom should we see on t'other side pass by. 

But Informator with a stranger talking, 
So 1 exclaimed — " O, what a lie !" 

Quoth Dick, " What, can you hear him'?" " Stuff! 
I saw him open his mouth — an't that enough '?" 



ON OBSERVING A LADY LICKING HER LAP-DOG. 

Thy Lap-dog Rufa, is a dainty beast ; 
It don't surprise me in the least, 



21G REMINISCENCES OF 



To see thee lick so dainty clean a beast, 
But that so dainty clean a beast licks thee- 
Yes — that surprises me. 



Jack writes his verses with more speed 

Than the printer's boy can set 'em; 
Quite as fast as we can read, 

But only — not so fast as we forget 'em. 

Mr. Coleridge accompanied these epigrams with the translatioD 
of one of Lessing's pieces, where thef felicity of the expression, in 
its English form, will excite in most readers a suspicion, that 
no German original could equal the poem in its new dress. 

MY LOVE. 

I ask'd my love one happy day, 
What I should call her in my lay ! 

By what sweet name from Rome or Greece ; 
Iphigenia, CleUa, Chloris, 
Laura, Lesbia, or Doris, 

Dorimene, or Lucrece'? 
Ah ! replied my gentle fair, 
Beloved ! what are names but air ! 

Take whatever suits the line : 
Call me Clelia, call me Chloris, 
Laura, Lesbia, or Doris, 

Only, only, call me thine. 

Mr. C. told me that he intended to translate the whole of Les- 
sing. I smiled. Mr. C. understood the symbol, and smiled in 
return. 

The above poem is thus printed in the last edition of 1835, by 
which the two may be compared, and the reader w^ll perhaps 
think that the alterations are not improvements. 



I ASKED my fair one happy day, 
What I should call her in my lay 1 

By what sweet name from Rome or Greece ; 
Lalage, NesBra, Chloris, 
Sappho, Lesbia, or Doris, 

Arethusa, or Lucrece. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. '2r 



Ah, replied my gentle fciix^, 
Beloved, what are names but air ? 

Choose thou whatever suits the line ; 
Call mc Sappho, call me Chloris, 
Call me Lalage, or Doris, 

Only, only, call me thine. 

Some time after this, Mr. Coleridge being in an ill state of 
healtli, recollected that a friend of his, Sir John Stoddart, was the 
Judge at Malta, ^ and he determined to repair to that island. Here 
he was introduced to Sir Alexander Ball, the Governor, who hap- 
pened at that time to be in want of a Secretary, and being greatly 
pleased with Mr. Coleridge, he immediately engaged him in that 
capacity.! 

1 shall here, for the present, leave the narrative of Mr. C. in 
other and better hands, and proceed to remark, that Mr. Davy and 
Mr. Coleridge continued their friendly feeling towards each other 
through life. Mr. Davy, in a letter to Mr. Poole, (1804,) thus 
expresses himself: 

" I have received a letter from Coleridge within the last three 
weeks. He writes from Malta, in good spirits, and as usual, from 
the depth of his being. God bless him ! He was intended for a 
great man. I hope and trust he will, at sojne period, appear such." 

Mr. Davy, after a continuance in Bristol of more than tw^o years, 
sent me the following letter, with a copy of " Burns's Life and 
Works," by Dr. Currie. 

* Mr. Stoddart was a gentleman of whom he often talked, and spoke feel- 
ingly of Mr, S.'s chagrin, in the earlier part of his protessional career. Briefs 
were then scarce, yet one evening an attorney called with the object of his 
desire, but Mr. S. was not at home, and the urgency of the case required it to 
be placed in other hands. This was long a subject of lamentation to the 
young barrister, and also to his friends ; but success follov/ed. 

t Mr. Coleridge sustained one serious loss, on quitting Malta, which he 
/greatly deplored. He had packed in a large case, all his books and MSS. 
with all the letters received by him durino- his residence on the island. His 
directions were, to be forwarded to England, by the first ship ; with Bristol, 
as its ultimate destination. It was never received, nor could he ever learn 
what became of it. It may be lying at this moment in some custom-house 
wareroom, waiting for the payment of the duty ! of which Mr. C. probably 
was not aware. 

10 



218 REMINISCENCES OF 



" Dear Cottle, 

I have been for the last six weeks so much hurried by business, 
and the prospect of a change of situation, that 1 liave not had time 
to call on you. 1 am now on the point of leaving the Hotwells, 
and had designed to see you this morning, but engagements have un- 
luckily prevented me. 1 am going to the Royal Institution, whero. 
if you come to London, it will give me much pleasure to see you. 

Will you be pleased to accept the copy of ' Burns's Life and 
Poems,' sent with this, and wlien you are reading with dehght the 
effusions of your brother bard, occasionally think of one who is, 
with sincere regard and affection, your friend, 

H. Davy. 
March 9th, 180L'"' 

In a letter of Sir H. Davy, addressed to his friend Mr. Poole, 
1803, he thus writes of S. T. C. 

" Coleridge has left London for Keswick. During his stayin 
town, I saw him seldomer than usual ; when I did see him, it was 
generally in the midst of large companies, where he is the image 
of power and activity. His eloquence is unimpaired ; perhaps it 
is softer and stronger. His will is less than ever commensurate 
with his ability. Brilliant images of greatness float upon his mind, 
like images of the morning clouds on the waters. Their forms are 
changed by the motion of the weaves, they are agitated by every 
breeze, and modified by every sunbeam. He talked in the course 
of an hour, of beginning three works ; and he recited the poem of 
Chrisiabel unfinished, and as I had before heard it. What talent 
does he not waste in forming visions, sublime, but unconnected 
with the real world ! I have looked to his efforts, as to the efforts 
of a creating being ; but as yet he has not laid the foundation fc^ 
the new world of intellectual forms." 

In the following letter received by me from Sir H. Davy, so 
late as June. 1823, he refers to Mr. Colerido-e. 

'* My dear Sir, 

* ■ * * I have often thought on the subject of the . 

early history of our planet, and have some peculiar views, but I ' 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 219 

have some reserve in talking here about it, as all our knowledge 
on such matters is little more than ignorance. 

What I stated to the Royal Society, in awarding the medal to 
Professor Buckland, has not been correctly given in the Journals. 
I merely said that the facts lately brought forward, proved the 
occurrence of that great catastrophe which had been recorded in 
sacred and profane history, and of which traditions were current, 
even amongst the most barbarous nations. I did not say they 
proved the truth of the Mosaic account of the deluge, that is to 
say, of the history of the Ark of iSToah, and the preservation of 
animal life. This is revelation ; and no facts, that I know of, have 
been discovered in science that bear upon this question, and the 
sacred history of the race of Shem. My idea was to give to Csesar 
what belonged to Caesar, &c., &c., and not to blend divine truths 
with tlie fancies of men. 

I met Coleridge this morning, looking very well. I had not 
seen him for years. He has promised to dine with me on Mon- 
day. ^ ^ '^' 

Very sincerely yours, 

H. Davy. 
June 11th, 1823." 

Sir H. Davy was the chief agent in prevailing on Mr. Coleridge 
to give a course of lectures on Shakspeare, at the Royal Institu- 
tion, which he did, eighteen in number, in the year 1808. Sir H. 
D., in writing to Mr. Poole, this year, thus refers to him. 

*' Coleridge, after disappointing his audience twice from illness, 
is announced to lecture again this week. He has suffered greatly 
from excessive sensibility, the disease of genius. His mind is a 
wilderness, in w^iich the cedar and the oak, which might aspire to 
the skies, are stunted in their growth by underwood, thorns, briers, 
and parasitical plants. With the most exalted genius, enlarged 
views, sensitive heart, and enlightened mind, he will be the victim 
of want of order, precision, and regularity. I cannot think of him 
without experiencing the mingled feelings of admiration, regard, 
and pity." 

To this testimony in confirmation of Mr. Coleridge's intellectual 
eminence, some high and additional authorities will be added; 



220 REMINISCENCES OP 



such as to entitle him to the name of the Great Conversationalist 
Professor Wilson thus writes : 

" If there be any man of great and original genius alive at this moment, in 
Europe, it is S. T. Coleridge. Nothing can surpass the melodious richness of 
words, which he heaps around his images ; images that arc not glaring in 
themselves, but which are always affecting to the very verge of tears, because 
they have all been formed and nourished in the recesses of one of the most 
deeply musing spirits, that ever breathed forth its inspirations, in the majestic 
language of England." 

" Not less marvellously gifted, though in a far different manner, is Coleridge, 
who by a strange error has usually been regarded of the same (lake) school. 
Instead, like Wordsworth, of seeking the sources of sublimity and beauty in 
the simplest elements of humanit}', he ranges thrcugh all history and science, 
investigating all that has really existed, and all that has had foundation only 
in the wildest, and strangest minds, combining, condensing, developing and 
multiplying the rich products of his research with marvellous facility and 
skill ; now pondering fondly over some piece of exquisite loveliness, brou^rht 
from an unknown recess now tracing out the hidden germ of the eldest, and 
most barbaric theories, and now calling fantastic spirits from the vasty deep, 
where they have slept since the dawn of reason. The term ' myriad-minded' 
which he has happily applied to Shakspeare, is truly descriptive of himself 
He is not one, but legion. ' rich with the spoils of time,' richer in his own glo 
rious imagination and sportive fantasy. There is nothing more wonderful than 
the facile majesty of his images, or rather of his world of imagery, which 
whether in his poetry or his prose, start up before us, self-raised, and all per 
feet, like the palace of Aladdin. He ascends to the sublimest truths by a 
winding track of sparkling glory, which can only be described in his own 
language. 

'The spirit's ladder 
That from this gross and visible world of dust, 
Even to the starry world, with thousand rounds 
Builds itself up; on v/liich the unseen powers 
Move up and down on heavenly ministries — 
The circles in the circles, that approach 
Tlie central sun from ever narrowing orbit.' 

In various beauty of versification he has never been exceeded. Shaks- 
peare doubtless in liquid sweetness and exquisite continuity, and Milton in 
pure majesty and classic grace — but this, in one species of verse only ; and 
taking all his trials of various metres, the sweUing harmony of his blank 
verse, the sweet breathing of his gentle odes, and the sibyl-like flutter, with 
the murmuring of his wizard spells, we doubt if even these great masters have 
so fully developed the sources of the English tongue. He has yet completed 
no adequate memorial of his genius, yet it is most unjust to say he has done 
httle or nothing. 

To refute this assertion, there are his ' Wallenstein ;' his love poems of iii- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 221 



tensest beauty; his 'Ancient Mariner,' with his touches of profoundest ten- 
derness amidst the wildest and most bewildering terrors ; his holy and sweet 
tale of ' Christabel,' with its enchantments, and richer humanities ; the depths, 
the sublimities, and the pensive sweetness of his ' Tragedy;' the heart-dilating 
sentiments scattered through his • Friend ;' and the stately imagery which 
breaks upon us at every turn of the golden paths of his metaphysical laby- 
rinth. And if he has a power v>'ithin him mightier than that which even 
these glorious creations indicate, shall he be censured because he has deviated 
from the ordinary course of the age in its development, and instead of com- 
mitting his imaginative wisdom to the press, has delivered it from his living 
lips 1 He has gone about in the true spirit of an old Greek bard, with a no- 
lle carelessness of self, giving lit utterance to the divine spirit within him. 
Who that has ever heard can forget him 1 His mild benignity, the unbounded 
variety of his knowledge, the fast succeeding products of his imagination, the 
child-like simplicity with which he lises from the dryest and commonest theme 
into the wildest magniiicence of thought, pouring on the soul a stream of 
beauty and wisdom to mellow and enrich it forever'? The seeds of poetry, 
the materials for thinking, which he has thus scattered, will not perish. The 
records of his fame are not in books only, but on the fleshly tablets of young 
hearts, who will not suffer it to die even in the general ear, however base and 
unfeeling criticism may deride their gratitude." — 3-Ir. Scrgeatit Talfourd. 

Dr. Dibdin has given an animated description of Coleridge's 
lecturing and conversation, Avhicli concurs with i\e universal 
opinion. 

" I once came from Kensington iii a snow-storm to hear Mr. Coleridge lec- 
ture on Shakspeare. I might have sat as wisely, and more comfortably by 
my own fireside — for no Coleridge appeared. — I shall never forget the effect 
his conversation made upon me at the first meeting, at a dinner party. It 
struck me as something not onl}- quite out of the ordinary course of things, 
but an intellectual exhibition altogether matchless. The viands were un- 
usually costly, and the banquet was at once rich and varied ; but there seemed 
to be no dish like Coleridge's conversation to feed upon — and no information 
so instructive as his own. The orator roiled hhnself up as it were in his 
chair, and gave the most unrestrained indulgence to his speech ; and how 
fraught with acuteness and originality was that speech, and in what copious 
and eloquent periods did it flov/. The auditors seemed to be wrapt in wonder 
and delight, as one conversation, more profound or clothed in more forcible 
language than another, fell from his tongue. He spoke nearly for two hours 
Avith unhesitating and uninterrupted fluency. As I returned homewards, to 
Kensington, I thought a second Johnson had visited the earth, to make wise 
the sons of men ; and regretted that I could not exercise the powers of a sec- 
ond Bcswell to record the wisdom and the eloquence that fell from the ora- 
tor's lips. 

The manner of Coleridge was emphatic rather than dogmatic, and thus he 



222 REMINISCENCES OF 



J 



was generally and satisfactorily listened to. It mi*rlit be said of Coleridge, as 
Cowper has so happily said of Sir Philip Sidney, that he was ' the warbler of 
poetic prose.' There was always this characteristic feature in his multifarious 
conversation, — it was always delicate, reverend, and courteous. The chastest 
ear could drink in no startling sound ; the most serious believer never had hi.- 
bosom ruffled by one sceptical or reckless assertion. Coleridge was eminently 
simple in his manner. Thinking and speaking were his delight; and h;: 
would sometimes seem, during the more fervid movements of discourse, to b(. 
abstracted from all, and everything around and about him, and to be baskincr 
in the sunny warmth of his own radiant imagination." — Dr. Dibdin. 

" Last Thursday, my uncle, S. T. C. dined with us ; and and 

came to meet him, I have heard him more brilliant, but he was very line. 

and delighted both and very much. It is impossible to carr> 

oif. or commit to paper, his long trains of argument ; indeed it is not possiblt; 
to understand them, he lays the foundation so deep, and views every question 
in so original a manner. Nothing can be finer than the principles which h- 
lays down in morals and religion. His deep study of scripture is very aston- 
ishing ; and were but as children in his hands, not merely in 

general views of theology, but in minute criticism. * * * Afterwards in 
the drawing-room, he sat down by Professor Rigaud, with whom he entered 
into a discussion of ' Kant's system of Metaphysics.' The little knots of the 
company were speedily silent. Mr. Coleridge's voice grew louder ; and, ab- 
struse as the subje'bt was, yet his language was so ready, so energetic, anl 
eloquent, and his illustrations so very apt and apposite, that the ladies even 
paid him the most solicitous and respectful attention, * * ♦ * 

This is nearly all I recollect of our meeting with this most interesting, mosi 
wonderful man. Some of his topics and arguments I have enumerated, but! 
the connection and the words are lost. And nothing that I can say can givef 
any notion of his eloquence and manner." — Mr. Justice Coleridge. — Tab!> 
Talk. 

" To the honored memory of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Christian Phi 
losopher, who through dark and winding paths of speculation was led to the 
light in order that others by his guidance might reach that light, without pass- 
ing through the darkness, these sermons on the work of the Spirit are dedi- 
cated with deep thankfulness and reverence by one of the many pupils whom 
his writings have helped to discern the sacred concord and unity of human 
and Divine truth. 

" Of recent Enghsh writers, the one with whose sanction I have chiefly de- 
sired whenever I could, to strengthen my opinions, is the great religious phi- 
losopher to whom the mind of our generation in England owes more than to 
any other man. My gratitude to him I have endeavored to express by dedi- 
cating the following sermons to his memory ; and the offering is so far at 
least appropriate, in that the main work of his Ufe was to spiritualize, not only 
our philosophy, but our theology ; to raise them both above the empiricism 
into which they had long been dwindhng, and to set them free from the 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. JSOUTHEY. 223 



technical trammels of logical systems. Wiietlier he is as much studied by the 
genial young men of the present day. as he was twenty or thirt}'^ years ago, I 
have no adequate means of judging : but our theological literature teems with 
errors, such as could hardly have been committed by persons whose minds had 
been disciplined by his philosophical method, and had rightly appropriated his 
principles. So far too as my observation has extended, the third and fourth 
volumes of his ' Remains.' thougli they were hailed with delight by ArnclJ on 
their first appearance, have net yet produced their proper effect en the intel- 
lect of the age. It may be that the rich store of profound and beautiful 
thought contained in them has been weighed down, from being mixed with a 
few opinions on points of Biblical criticism, likely to be very olTensive to per- 
sons who know nothing about the history of the Canon. Some of these opiii- 
ions, to which Coleridge himself ascribed a good deal of importance, seem to 
me of little worth ; some to be decidedly erronopus. Philological criticism, 
indeed all matters requiring a laborious and accurate investigation of detail-, 
were alien from the bent and habits of his mind ; and his exegetical studies, 
such as they were, took place at a period when he had little better than the 
meagre Rationalism of Eichhorn and Bertholdt to help him. Of the opinion;5 
which he imbibed from them, some abode with him tlirough life. These how- 
ever, along vvith everything else that can justly be objected to in the ' Re- 
mains,' do not form a twentieth part of the whole, and may easih'^ be sepa- 
rated from the remainder. Nor do they detract in any way fi-om the sterling 
sense, the clear and far-sighted discernment, the power of tracing pvinciphs 
in their remotest operations, and of referring all things to their first i-rinciples, 
which are manifested in almost eVcry page, and from which v>^e might learn 
so much. There may be some indeed, who fancy that Coleridge's day is gone 
by, and that we have advanced beyond him. I have seen him numbered, 
along with other persons who would have been no less surprised at tlieir po- 
sition and company, among the pioneers who prepared the way for our new 
theological sc^iool. This fathering of Tractarianism, as it is termed, upon 
Coleridge, well deserves to rank beside the folly v/hich would father Rational- 
ism upon Luther. Coleridge's far-reaching vision did indeed discern the best 
part of the speculative truths which our new school has laid hold on, and ex- 
aggerated and perverted. But in Coleridge's field of view they were com- 
prised along with the comphmental truths which limit them, and in their con- 
junction and co-ordination with which alone they retain the beneficent power 
of truth. He saw what our modern theologians see, though it was latent 
from the vulgar eyes in his days ; but he also saw what they do not see, w^hat 
they have closed their eyes on ; and he saw far beyond them, because he saw 
things in their universal principles and laws." — Rev. Archdeacon Charles 
Hare's " Mission of the Comforter.'" — Prefoxe pp. 13, 15. Two Vols. Svo. 

These various testimonies to the conversational eminence of Mr. 
Coleridge, and from men the best qualified to decide, must satisfy 
every mind, that in this one quality he scarcely ever had a supe- 
rior, or perhaps an equal. In the 103rd No. of the "Quarterly 



REMINISCENCES OF 



Review," there is a description of his conversation, evidently writ- 
ten by one competent to judgx', and wlio Aveli knev/ the subject of 
liis praise ; but tliougli the writer's language is highly encomiastic, 
co: responding with iiis eloquence, yet to all ^vho knew Coleridge, 
it will not be considered as exceeding tlie soberest truth. When 
iiivJ Vv'j-.ere are such descriptions as the preceding and the follow- 
ing to be found ? 

'* Perhaps our readers iiuiy have heard repeated a saying of Mr. Words- 
Vv'orth, ' that many men of hi-3 age had done wonderful tkhigs, as Davy, 
Scott, Cuvier, &c. ; bnt that Coleridge was the only wonderful vian he ever 
knew.' Soaiething of course must be allowed in this, as in all other such 
c:\scs. for the antithcsii ; but we believe the fact really to be, that the greater 
part of those who have occ^asionally visited 3Ir Coleridge, have left him with 
the fcelin-^ akin to the judgment indi:;ated in the above remark. They admire 
t'le man more than his Vv^orks. or the}^ forget the works in the absorbing im- 
pression made by the living author; and no wonder. Those who remember 
liim in hi^ more vigorous daj^'s. can bear v/itness to the peculiarity and tran- 
s.'endent power of his conversation ;d eloquence. It was unlike anything that 
could be heard elsewhere ; the kind was different, the degree was different, 
the manner was different. The boundless range of scientific knowledge, the 
brilliancy a)id exquisite nicety of iilastration, tlie deep and ready reasoning, 
the strangeness and immensity of bookish lore, were not all ; the dramatic 
s^ory, the joke, the pun, the festivity, must be added ; and with these, the 
clerical-looking dress, the thick waving silver hair, thej^outhful colored cheek, 
the indefinable mouth and lips, the quick yet stea.dy and penetrating greenish 
gray oye. the slow and continuous enunciation, and the everlasting music of 
his tones, — all went to make up the image, and to constitute the living pres- 
ence of the man. Even now his conversation is characterized by all the 
essentials of its former excellence ; there is the same individuality, the same 
unexpectedness, the same universal grasp ; nothing is too high, nothing too 
low for it — it glances from earth to heaven, from heaven to earth, with a 
speed and a splendor, an ease and a power, which almost seemed inspired." 

As a conclusion to these honorable testimonies, it may be added, 
the wish has often been expressed, that more ^vere kno^vn respect- 
ing Mr. Coleridge's school and college life, so briefly detailed in 
his " Biographia." There was one friend of whom he often used 
to talk, r#nd always with a kind feeling, who sat next to him at 
Christ Church School, and who afterwards accompanied him to 
Cambridge, where their friendship was renewed, and their inter- 
course uninterrupted. This gentleman was the Rev. C. Y. Le 
Grice, the respected and erudite incumbent of a living near Pen- 



s. T. coleridgp: and R. SOUTHEY. 225 



zance. Mr. Le G. might contribute largely toward the elucidation 
of Mr. Coleridge's school and college life ; but as the much has 
been denied, we must be thankful for the little. The following 
are Mr. Le Grice's brief, but interesting notices of his friend : 

" Mr. Urban. 

In the various and numerous memoirs, which have been published of the 
late Mr. Coleridge, I have been surprised at the accuracy in many respects, 
and at the same time their omission of a very remarkable, and a very honor- 
able anecdote in his history. In the memoir of him in your last number, you 
do not merely omit, but you give an erroneous account of this very circum- 
stance to v^^Iiich I mean to allude. You assert that he did not obtain, and in- 
deed did not aim to obtain, the honors of the University. So far is this from 
the fact, that in his Freshman's year he won the gold medal for the Greek 
Ode ; and in his second year he became a candidate for the Craven scholar- 
ship, a University scholarship, for which undergraduates of any standing are 
entitled to become candidates. This was in the winter of 1792. Out of six- 
teen or eighteen competitors a selection of four was made to contend for the 
prize, and these four were Dr. Butler, now the Head Master of Shrewsbury ; 
Dr. Keate, the late Head Master of Eton ; Mr. 13ethell, the late Member for 
Yorkshire; and S. T. Coleridge. Dr. Butler was the successful candidate. 

Pause a moment in Coleridge's history, and think of him at this period ! 
Butler ! Keate ! Bethell ! and Coleridge ! ! How different the career of each 
in future life ! O Coleridge, through what strange paths did the meteor of 
genius lead thee ! Pause a moment, ye distinguished men ! and deem it not 
the least bright spot in your happier career, that you and Coleridge were once 
rivals, and for a moment running abreast in the pursuit of honor. I believe 
that his disappointment at this crisis damped his ardor. Unfortunately, at 
that period there was no classical Tripos ; so that if a person did not obtain 
the classical medal, he was thrown back among the totally undistinguished ; 
and it was not allowable to become a candidate for the classical medal unless 
you had taken a respecta.ble degree in mcithematics. Coleridge had not the 
least taste for these, and here his case was hopeless ; so that he despaired of a 
Fellowship, and gave up, what in his heart he coveted, college honors, and a 
college hfe. He had seen his schoolfellow and dearest friend, Middleton, (late 
Bishop of Calcutta,) quit Pembroke under similar circumstances. Not quite 
similar, because Middleton studied mathematics so as to take a respectable 
degree, and to enable him to try for the medal ; but he failed, and therefore all 
hopes failed of a Fellowship — most fortunately, as it proved in after life, for 
Middleton, though he mourned at the time most deeply, and exclaimed, " I am 
Middleton, which is another name for Misfortune ! " 

' There is a Providence which shapes our ends, 
Rough hew them how you will.' 

That, which Middleton deemed a misfortune, drew him from the cobwebs of a 
college library to the active energies of a useful and honored life. But to re- 

10^^ 



926 REMINISCENCES OF 



turn to Coleridge. When he quitted college, which he did before he hud takei 
a degree, in a moment of mad caprice — it was indeed an inauspicious hour! 
' In an inauspicious hour I left^the friendly cloisters, and the happy grove of 
quiet, ever honored Jesus College, Cambridge.' Short, but deep and heartfeW 
reminiscence ! In a literary Life of himself this short memorial is all tha 
Coleridge gives of his happy days at college. Say not, that he did not obtain,! 
and did not wish to obtain, classical honors ! He did obtain them, and was 
eagerly ambitious of them ; but he did not bend to that discipline wlii^h was 
to qualify him for the whole course. He was very studious, but his reading 
was desultory and capricious. He took little exercise merely for the sake of 
exercise ; but he was ready at any time to unbend his mind in conversation, 
and for the sake of this, his room (the ground-floor room on the right hand of 
the staircase facing the great gate) was a constant rendezvous of conversation 
loving friends, I will not call them loungers, for they did not call to kill time, 
but to enjoy it. What evenings have I spent in those rooms ! What little 
suppers, or siziJigs, as they were called, have I enjoyed ; when ^Eschylus, 
and Plato, and Thucydides were pushed aside, with a pile of lexicons, &c., to 
discuss the pamphlets of the day. Ever and anon a pamphlet issued from the 
pen of Burke, There was no need of having the book before us. Coleridge 
had read it in the morning ; and in the evening he would repeat whole pages 
verbatim. Trend's trial was then in progress. Pamphlets swarmed from the 
press. Coleridge had read them all ; and in the evening, with our negus, we 
had them viva voce gloriously. O Coleridge ! it w^as indeed an inauspicious 
hour when you quitted the friendly cloisters of Jesus. The epithet ' friendly' 
implied what you were thinking of, when you thought of college. To ^ou, 
Coleridge, your contemporaries were indeed friendly, and I believe, that in 
your literary life you have passed over your college life so briefly, because you 
wished to banish from your view the ' visions of long-departed joys.' To 
enter into a description of your college days would have called up too sadly 
to your memory ' the hopes which once shone bright.' and would have made 
your heart sink. 

Yours, &c., 

C. V. Lc Grice. 
P. S. — I was a witness to the breathless delight with which he hastened to 
give his friends intelligence of his success. The following Hues, in his •' Ver- 
ses written in Early Youth," are a memorial of the pleasure, which he felt in I 
the sympathy of one who was then most dear to him : — ■ 

" With faery wand, O bid the maid arise, 
Chaste joyance dancing in her bright bkie eyes. 
As erst, when, from the Muse's cahn abode, 
I came with learning's meed not unbestowed." 

See Poems, Edit. 1805, p. 34. ' 

He wrote, to my certain knowledge, for the prize in the ensuing year ; but 
It was most deservedly given to Keate's beautiful Ode. The subject Laus 
Astronomiae. No one was more convinced of the propriety of the decision 
than Coleridge himself. He used to repeat Ramsden's Greek Ode on Gibral- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R, SOUTHEY. 227 



tar, and Smith's Latin one on Mare Liberum, with incessant rapture. It 
would have been his glory to have caught their spirit. He was absorbed in 
these tilings. A Classical Tripos would have changed Coleridge's destiny." 
Gentleman's Magazine, Dec. 1834. 

The reader's attention will now be directed to Mr. Coleridge 
after he left Malta, when he visited Bristol in the year 1807. I 
accidentally learned that Mr. C. had returned to England, not in 
good health, and that he was at Mr. Poole's, when I addressed a 
letter to him, expressing a hope that his health would soon allow 
him to pay me a visit, in Bristol. To this letter he thus replied : 

" Dear Cottle, 

On my return to Bristol, whenever that may be, I will certainly 
give you the right hand of old fellowship ; but, alas ! you will 
find me the wretched Avreck of Avhat you knew me, rolling, rud- 
derless. My health is extremely bad. Pain I have enough of, 
but that is indeed to me, a mere trifle, but the almost unceasing 
overpowering sensations of wretchedness : achings in my limbs, 
with an indescribable restlessness, that makes action to any avail- 
able purpose, almost impossible : and worst of all the sense of 
blighted utility, regrets, not remorseless. But enough ; yea, more 
than enough ; if these things produce, or deepen the conviction 
of the utter powerlessness of ourselves, and that we either perish 
or find aid from something that passes understanding. 

Affectionately, 

S. T. C." 

The preceding letter of Mr. Coleridge led me to anticipate a 
worse state of health, on his arrival in Bristol, than appearances 
authorized. I knew nothing of opium, and was pleased to 
notice the clearness of his understanding, as well as much struck 
with the interesting narratives he gave of Malta, Italy, and his 
voyage to England. I knev/ that Mr. C. was somewhat in the 
habit of accommodating his discourse to the sentiments of the 
persons with whom he was conversing ; but his language was 
now so pious and orthodox, that the contrast between his past and 
present sentiments was most noticeable. He appeared quite an 
improved character, and was about, I thought, to realize the 
best hopes of his friends. I found him full of future activity. 



228 REMINISCENCES OK 



projecting new works, and particularly a ' New Review,' of which 
he himself was to be the Editor ! At this time not one word was 
said about opium, Colerton, Otteiy, or Mrs. Coleridge, and I 
thought the prospect never appeared so cheering. 

In my state of exultation, I invited Mr. P'oster to come to 
Bristol, from Frome, to renew his acquaintance with the improved 
and travelled Mr. Coleridge. Mr. Foster's reply is here given. 

"Frome, June, 1807. 
My dear Sir, 

I am very unfortunate in having made an engagement, two or 
three weeks back, to go just at this time on a very particular oc- 
casion, to a distant place in this county, and therefore being de- 
])rived of the very high luxury to which you so kindly invite me. 
I shall be unavoidably detained for a very considerable time, and 
my imagination will strongly represent to me the pleasure and 
iidvantage of which an inevitable necessity depri^'es me. But I 
v.'ill indulge the hope, that I shall sometime be known to Mr. 
Coleridge under more favorable circumstances, in a literary 
respect, than I can at present, after a regular application to the 
severer order of studies shall in some measure have retrieved the 
consequences of a very loose and indolent intellectual discipline, 
iiiid shall have lessened a certain feeling of imbecility which 
always makes me shrink from attempting to gain the notice of 
i]ien whose talents I admire. 

'No man can feel a more animated admiration of Mr. Coleridge 
than I have retained ever since the tvfo or three times that I was 
a little while in his company ; and during his absence in the south 
and the east, I have very often thought wdth delight of the im- 
mense acquisitions which he would at length bring back to enrich 
tiic works, which I trust the public will in due time receive from 
biim, and to which it has an imperious claim. And still I trust he 
will feel the solemn duty of making his very best and continued 
eiibrts to mend as well as delis^ht mankind, now that he has 
attained the complete mastery and expansion of his admirable 
powers. You do not fail, I hope, to urge him to devote himself 
strenuously to literary labor. He is able to take a station amongst 
the most elevated ranks, either of the philosophers or the poets. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 



Pray tell me what are his immediate intentions, and whether he 
has any important specific undertaking in hand. For the sake of 
elegant hteratm'e, one is very glad that he has had the opportunity 
of visiting those most interesting scenes and objects which you 
mention. Will you express to him in the strongest terms, my 
respect and my animated wishes for his health, his happiness, and 
his utility. You can inform me what is the nature of that literary 
project to which you allude. Tell me also, what is the state and 
progress of your own literary projects, and, I hope I may say, 
labors. I behaved shabbily about some slight remarks which I 
was to have ventured on Mr. South ey's ' Madoc,' in the ' Eclectic 
Review.' On reading the ciitiques in the ^ Edinburgh Review,' 
on ' Thalaba ' and ' Madoc,' I found vfhat were substantially my 
own impressions, so much better developed than I could have 
done, that I instantly threw my remarks away. Let me hear from 
you when you have half an hour of leisure, and believe me to be, 
with every kind remembrance to your most excellent family, my 
dear sir. 

Most cordially yours, 
To Joseph Cottle. John Foster." 

• ♦ 

Some weeks after, Mr. Coleridge called on me ; when, in the 
course of conversation, he entered into some observations on his* 
own character, that made him appear unusually amiable. He 
said that he was naturally very arrogant ; that it was his easily 
besettinof sin ; a state of mind which he ascribed to the severe 
subjection to which he had been exposed, till he was fourteen 
years of age, and from which his own consciousness of superiority 
made him revolt. He then stated that he had renounced all his 
Unitarian sentiments ; that he considered Unitarianism as a heresy 
of the worst description ; attempting in vain to reconcile sin and 
holiness ; the world and heaven ; opposing the w^hole spirit of 
the Bible ; and subversive of all that truly constituted Christianity. 
At this interview he professed his deepest conviction of the truth 
of Revelation ; of the Fall of Man ; of the Divinity of Christ, 
and redemption alone through his blood. To hear these sen- 
timents so exphcitly avowed, gave me unspeakable pleasure, 
and formed a new, and unexpected, and stronger bond of union. 



5230 REMINISCENCES OF 



A long and highly interesting theological conversation followed, 
in which Mr. C. proved, that, however weak his body, the intel- 
lectual vigor of his mind was unimpaired. He exhibited, also, 
more sobriety of manner than I had before noticed in him, with 
an improved and impressive maturity in his reflections, expressed 
in his happiest language ; and which, could it have been accurately 
recorded, would have adorned the most splendid of his pages ; — 
so rare and pre-eminent was the powerful and spontaneous utter- 
ance with which tliis gifted son of genius wa^ endowed. 

Mr. Colerido-e, at his next visit, related to me some of his 
Italian adventures ; one or two of which I here introduce. 

After quitting Malta, he had landed in Sicily, and visited Etna ; 
his ascent up whose side, to the crater, he graphically described, 
with some striking features ; but as this is a subject proverbially 
enlarged upon by al] travellers, I waive further notice, and pro- 
ceed to state, that Mr. C. after leaving Sicily passed over to the 
south of Italy, and journeyed on to Rome. 

Shortly after Mr. Coleridge had arrived in this city, he attracted 
some notice amongst the literati, as an English " Man of Letters." 
Cardinal Fesch, in particular, was civil, and sought his company ; 
^b^t that which was more remarkable,^ Jerome Bonaparte was 
then a resident at Rome, and Mr. C.'s reputation becoming known 
•to him, he sent for him, and after showing him his palace, 
pictures, (fee, thus generously addressed him : '' Sir, I have sent 
for you to give you a little candid advice. I do not know that 
you have said, or written anything against my brother Napoleon, 
but as an Englishman, the supposition is not unreasonable. If 
you have, my advice is, that you leave Italy as soon as you 
possibly can !" 

This hint was gratefully received, and Mr. Coleridge soon after 
quitted Rome, in the suite of Cardinal Fesch. From his anxiety 
to reach England, he proceeded to Leghorn, where a circumstance 
occurred which will excite every reader's sympathy. Mr. Cole- 
ridge had journeyed to this port, where he rather hoped, than 
expected, to find some conveyance, through the medium of a 
neutral, that should waft him to the land "more prized than 
ever." The hope proved delusive. The war was now raging 
between England and France, and Bonaparte being lord of the 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 231 



ascendant in Italy, Mr. Coleridge's situation became insecure, and 
even perilous. To obtain a passport was impossible ; and as Mr. 
C. had formerly rendered himself obnoxious to the great Captain 
by some political papers, he was in daily and hourly expectation 
of being incarcerated in an Italian prison, vvhich would have been 
the infallible road to death ! 

In half despair of ever again seeing his family and friends, and 
under the constant dread of apprehension by the emissaries of the 
Tuscan government, or French spies ; he went out one morning 
to look at some ruins in the neighborhood of Leghorn, in a state 
of despondency, where certainty however terrible, would have 
been almost preferable to suspense. While musing on the rava- 
ges of time, he turned his eye, and observed at a little distance, 
a sea-faring looking man, musing in silence, like himself, on the 
waste around. Mr. Coleridge advanced towards him, supposing, 
or at least deeming it possible, that he also might be mourning 
his captivity, and commenced a discourse with him ; when he 
found that the stranger was an American captain, whose ship was 
then in the harbor, and on the point of sailing for England. 

This information sent joy into his heart; but he testified no 
emotion, determined to obtain the captain's good will, by showing 
him all the civilities in his power, as a preliminary to any future 
service the captain might be disposed to render him, whether the 
power were united with the disposition or not. This showed 
adroitness, with great knowledge of human nature ; and more 
winning and captivating manners than those of Mr. C, when 
called forth, were never possessed by mortal I In conformity 
with this almost forlorn hope, Mr. Coleridge explained to the 
American captain the history of the ruin ; read to him some of 
the half defaced Latin and Italian inscriptions, and concluded with 
extolling General Washington, and predicting the stability of the 
Union. The right keys, treble and tenor, were touched at the 
same moment. '^ Pray young man," said the captain, " who are 
you?" Mr. C. replied, "I am a poor unfortunate Englishman, 
with a wife and family at home ; but I am afraid I shall never 
see them more ! I have no passport, nor means of escape ; and, 
to increase my sorrow, I am in daily dread of being thrown into 
jaU, when those I love will not have the last pleasure of knowing 



232 REMINISCENCES OF 



that I am dead !" The captain's heart was touched. He had a 
wife and family at a distance. " My young man," said he, " what 
is your name ?" Tlie reply was, '' Samuel Taylor Coleridge." 
" Poor young man," answered the captain. " You meet me at 
this place to-morrow morning, exactly at ten o'clock." So saying, 
the captain withdrew. Mr. C. stood musing on the singular oc- 
currence, in which there vras something inexplicable. His dis- 
cernment of the stranger's character convinced him there existed 
no under jAot^ but still there was a wude space between prohahility 
and certainty. On a balance of circumstances, he still thought 
all fair, and at the appointed hour, repaired to the interior of the 
ruins. 

No captain w^as there ; but in a few minutes he appeared, and, 
hastening up to Mr. Coleridge, exclaimed exultingly, '' I have got 
your passport !" " How ! what !" said Mr. C. almost overpowered 
by his feelings. '*Ask me no questions," replied tlie captain; 
*' you are my steward, and you shall sail away with -me to-mor- 
row morning !" He continued, giving him his address, " You 
come to my house to-morrov/ early, vfhen 1 will provide you with 
ix jacket and trowsers, and you shall folio \v me to the ship w^ith a 
basket of vegetables. ^^ In short, thus accoutred, he did follow 
the captain to the ship the next morning ; and in three hours fairly 
sailed out of Leghorn harbor, triumphantly on his course to 
England ! 

As soon as the ship had cleared the port, Mr. Coleridge hast- 
ened dowui to the cabin, and cried, '' My dear captain, tell me 
how you obtained my passport ?" Said the captain, very gravely, 
*' Why, I went to the authorities, and swore that you were an 
Amei'ican, and my stew^ard ! I swore also, that I knew your fa- 
ther and mother ; that they lived in a red-brick house, about half 
a mile out of New York, on the road to Boston !" 

It is gratifying to add, that this benevolent little-scrupulous 
captain refused to accept anything from Mr. C. for his passage to 
England ; and behaved in many other respects, with the same 
uniform kindness. During the voyage, Mr. Coleridge told me, 
he was attacked with a dangerous illness, when he thought he 
should have died but for the '* good captain,'" who attended him with 
the sohcitude of a father. Mr. C. also said, had he known what 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 233 



the captain was going to swear, whatever the consequences might 
have been, he would have prevented him/'* 
The following letter will be read with interest. 

''Bristol, 1807. 
Dear Cottle, 

To pursue our last conversation. Christians expect no outward 
or sensible miracles from prayer. Its effects, and its fruitions are 
spiritual, and accompanied, savs that true iJivine, Archbisliop 
Leighton, ' not by reasons and arguments, but by an inexpressible 
kind of evidence, which they only knovr who have it.' 

To this I would add, tliat even those vrlio, like me I fear, have 
not attained it, yet may pi'esume it. First, because reason itself, 
or rather mere human nature, in any dispassionate moment, feels 
the necessity of religion, but if this be not true there is no relig- 
•ion, no religation, or binding over again ; nothing added to rea- 
son, and therefore Sociniamsrn, misnamed Unitarianisrn, is not 
only not Christianity , it is not even rcliniori, it does not reli^/ate ; 
does not bind anew. The first outward and sensible result of 
prayer is, a penitent resolution, j-jined with a consciousness of 

* It was a remarkable quality in I\Ir. Coleiiage's mind that edifices excited 
little interest in him. On his return froin Italy, and after having resided for 
some time in Ronie. I remember his describing to me the state of society ; the 
characters of the Pope and Cardinals ; tlie gorgeous ceremonies, with the su- 
perstitions of the people; but not one v*^ord did he utter concerning St. Peters, 
the Vatican, or the numerous aniiqiiiiics of tlie place. As a further confir- 
mation, I remember to have been v/ith Mr. Coleridge at York oti our journey 
into Durham, to see Mr, Wordswortli, when, after l-reakfast at the inn, per- 
ceiving Mr. C. engaged, I went out alone, to see the York Minster^ being, in 
the way, detained in a bookseller's shop. In the meantime, Mr. C. having 
missed me, he set off in search of his companion. Supposing it probable that 
I was gone to the Minster, he went up to the door of that magnificent struc- 
ture, and inquired of the porter, whether such an individual as myself had 
gone in there. Being answered in the negative, he had no fur '.her cv.riod.'y, 
not even looJcin^ into the h\ierioi\ but turned away to pursue his search ! so 
that Mr. C. left York, without beholding, or wishing to behold, the chief at- 
traction of the city, or being at all conscious that he had committed, by his 
Tit^tct^ high treason agoAnst all architedin-al beauty! This deficiency in his 
regard for edifices, while he was feverishly alive to all the operations of mind, 
and to all intellectual inquiries, formed a striking and singular feature in Mr. 
Coleridge's mental constitution worthy of being noticed. 



234 REMINISCENCES OF 



weakness in effecting it, yea even a dread, too well grounded, lest 
by breaking and falsifying it, the soul sliould add guilt to guilt f 
by the very means it has taken to escape from guilt ; so pitiable 
is the state of unregenerate man. 

Are you familiar with Leighton's AVorks ? He resigned his 
archbishoprick, and^ietired to voluntary poverty, on account of 
the persecutions of the Presbyterians, saying, *I should not dare 
to introduce Christianity itself with such cruelties, how much less 
for a surplice, and the name of a bishop.'^ If there could be an 
intermediate space between inspired, and uninspired writings, that 
space Avquld be occupied by Leighton. iSo show of learning, no 
'appearance, oi- ostentatious display of eloquence, and yet both 
may be shown in him, conspicuously and hohly. There is in him 
something that must be felt, even as the Scriptures must be felt. 

You ask me my views of the Trhiity, I accept the doctrine, 
not as deduced from human reason, in its grovelling capacity for 
comprehending spiritual things, but as the clear revelation of 
Scripture. But perhaps it may be said, the Socinians do not ad- 
mit this doctrine as beino- tauo-ht in the Bible. I know enourfi of 
their shifts and quibbles, witli their dexterity at explaining away 
all they dislike, and that is not a little; but though beguiled once 
by them, I happil}^ for my own peace of m^ind, escaped from their 
sophistries, and novr hesitate not to aiTirm, that Socinians would 
lose all character for honesty, if they vrere to explslin their neigh- 
bor's will with the same latitude of interpretation, w'hich they do 
the Scriptures. 

1 ha^ e in my head some iioating ideas on the Logos, which I 
hope, hereafter, to mould into a consistent form ; but it is a gross 
perversion of the truth, in Socinians, to declare that we believe in 
three Gods ; and they knovr it to be false. They might, with equal 
justice, affirm that we believe in three suns. The meanest peasant, 
who has acquired the first rudiments of Christianity, would shrink 
back from a thing so m^onstrous. Still the Trinity has its difficul- 
ties. It would be strange if otherwise. A Revelation that re- 
vealed nothing, not within the grasp of human reason ! — no reli- 
gation, no binding over again, as before said ; but these difficul- 
ties are shadov/s, contrasted with the substantive and insurmount- 
able obstacles, with w^hich thej/ contend who admit the Divine an- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. -235 



thority of Scripture, with the superlative excellence of Christ, and 
yet undertake to prove- that these Scriptures teach, and that 
Christ taught his own pure humanity. 

If Jesus Christ was merely a man. if he was not God as well as 
man, be it considered, he could not have been even a good man. 
There is no medium. The Saviour in that case was absolutely a 
deceiver ! one, transcendently unrighteous ! in advancing preten- 
sions to miracles, by the * Finger of God,' which he never per- 
formed ; and by asserting claims (as a man) in the most aggra- 
vated sense blasphemous. These consequences, Socinians, to be 
consistent, must allow, and which impious arrogation of Divinity 
in Christ, according to their faith, as Avell as his false assumption 
of a community of ' glory' with the Father, ' before the world was,' 
even they will be necessitated completel}^ to admit the exonera- 
tion of the Jews, according to their law, in crucifying one, who 
' being a m.an,' ' made himself God !' But in the Christian, rather 
than in the Socinian, or Pharisaic view, all these objections van- 
ish, and harmony succeeds to inexplicable confusion. If Socini- 
ans hesitate in ascribing unrighteousness to Christ, the inevitable 
result of their principles, they tremble, as well they miglit, at 
their avowed creed, and virtually renounce vv^hat they profess to 
uphold. 

The Trinity, as Bishop Leighton has well remarked, is ' a doc- 
trine of faith, not of demonstration,' except in a moral sense. If 
the Xew Testament declare it, not in an insulated passage, but 
through the whole breadth of its pages, rendering, with any other 
admission, the book which is the Cliristian's anchor-hold of hope, 
dark and contradictory, then it is not to be rejected, but on a pen- 
alty that reduces to an atom, all the sufferings this earth can 
inflict. 

Let the grand question be determined — Is, or is not the Bible 
inspired ? No one book has ever been subjected to so rigid an 
investigation as the Bible, by minds the most capacious, and in 
the result, which has so triumphantly repelled all the assaults of 
infidels. In the extensive intercourse which I have had with this 
class of men, I have seen their prejudices surpassed only by their 
ignorance. This I found particularly the case in Dr. Darwin, (p. 
1 — 65,) the prince of their fraternity. Without, therefore, stop- 



236 REMINISCENCES OF 



])ing to contend on v.hat all dispassionate men must deem unde- 
batable ground, I may assume inspii-ation as admitted ; and 
equally so, that it v.ould be an insult to man's understanding, to 
suppose any other revelation from God than the Christian Scrip- 
tures. If these Scriptures, impregnable in their strength, sus- 
tained in their pretensions, by undeniable pro])hecies and miracles, 
and by the experience of the inner man, in all ages, as well as by 
a concatenation of arguments, all bearing upon one point, and 
extending v/ith miraculous consistency, through a series of fifteen 
hundred years ; if all this combined proof does not establish their 
validity, nothing can be proved under tlie sun ; but the world and 
man must be abandoned, with all its consequences, to one univer- 
sal scepticism I Under such sanctions, therefore, if these Scrip- 
tm'es, as a fundamental truth, do inculcate the doctrine of the 
Trinity ; however surpassing human comprehension ; then I say, 
we are bound to admit it on the strength of moral demonstration. 

The Supreme Governor of tlie world and the Father of our 
spirits, has seen fit to disclose to us much of his Vvill, and the 
Avhole of his natural and moral perfections. In some instances 
he has given his word only, and demanded our faith ; while on 
other momentous subjects, instead of bestowing full revelation, 
like the Via Lactea, he has furnished a a'limpse only, through 
either the medium of inspiration, or by tlie exercise of those ra- 
tional faculties with which he has endowed us. I consider the 
Trinity as substantially resting on the first proposition, yet deriv- 
ing support from the la5t. 

I recollect when I stood on the summit of Etna, and darted 
my gaze down the* crater; the immediate vicinity was discernible, 
till, lower down, obscurity gradually terminated in total darkness. 
Such figures exemplify many truths revealed in tlie Bible. We 
pursue them, until from the imperfection of our faculties, we cire 
lost in impenetrable night. All truths, however, that are essen- 
tial to faith, honestly interpreted ; all that are important to human 
conduct, under every diversity of circumstance, are manifest as a 
a blazing star. The promises also of felicity to the righteous in 
the future world, though the precise nature of that felicity may 
not be defined, are illustrated bv every image that can swell the 
imagination ; while the misery of the lost, in its unutterable intcn- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 237 

sity, though the language that describes it is all necessarily figu- 
rative, is there exhibited as resulting chiefly, if not wholly, from 
the withdra\rment of the light of GgcVs countenance, and a ban- 
i->hment from his i^resence ! best comprehended in this world by 
reflecting on the desolations, which would instantly follow the loss 
of the sun's vivifying and universally diff'used tvarinth. 

You, or rather all, should remember that some truths from their 
nature, surpass the scope of man's limited powers, and stand as 
the criteria of faith, determining by their rejection, or admission, 
who among the sons of men can confide in the veracity of Heaven. 
Those more ethereal truths, of which the Trinity is conspicuously 
the chief, without being circumstantially explained, may be faintly 
illustrated by material objects. The eye of man cannot discern 
the satellites of Jupiter, nor become sensible of the multitudinous 
stars, whose rays have never reached our planet, and consequently 
garnish not the canopy of night ; yet are they the less real, 
because their existence lies beyond man's unassisted gaze ? The 
tube of the philosopher, and the celestial telescope — the unclouded 
visions of heaven will confirm the one class of truths, and irradiate 
the other. 

The Trinity is a subject on which analogical reasoning may 
advantageously be admitted, as furnishing, at least a glimpse of 
hght, and with this, for the present, we must be satisfied. Infi- 
nite Wisdom deemed clearer manifestations inexpedient ; and is 
man to dictate to his Maker ? I may further remark, that where 
we cannot behold a desirable object distinctly, we must take the 
best view we can ; and I think you, and every candid inquiring 
mind, may derive assistance from such reflections as the following. 

Notwithstanding the arguments of Spinosa, and Des Cartes, 
and other advocates of the Material system, or in more appropri- 
ate language, the Atheistical system I it is admitted by all men, 
not prejudiced, not biased by sceptical prepossessions, that mind 
is distinct from matter. The mind of man, however, is involved 
in inscrutable darkness, (as the profoundest metaphysicians well 
know,) and is to be estimated, if at all, alone by an inductive 
process ; that is, by its effects. Without entering on the question, 
whether an extremely circumscribed portion of the mental process, 
surpassing instinct, may or may not be extended to quadrupeds, 



238 REMINISCENCES OF 



it is universally acknowledged, that the mind of man alone regu- 
lates all the actions of his corporeal frame. Mind, there fore,. may 
be regarded as a distinct genus, in the scale ascending above 
brutes, and including the whole of intellectual existences ; ad- 
vancing from thought, that mysterious thing ! in its lowest form, 
through all the gradations of sentient and rational beings, till it 
arrives at a Bacon, a Newton ; and then, when unincumbered by 
matter, extending its illimitable sway through Seraph and Arch- 
anofel, till w^e are lost in the Great Infinite. 

Is it not deserving of notice, as an especial subject of medita- 
tion, that our limhs, in all they do or can accomplish, implicitly 
obey the dictation of the mind ? that this operating power, what- 
ever its name, under certain limitations, exercises a sovereign do- 
minion not only over our limbs, but over our intellectual pursuits ? 
The mind of every man is evidently the fulcrum, the moving 
force, w^hich alike regulates all his limbs and actions : and in 
which example, w^e find a strong illustration of the subordinate 
nature of mere matter. That alone which gives direction to the 
organic parts of our nature, is wholly 7nind ; and one mind if 
placed over a thousand limbs, could, w^ith undiminished ease, con- 
trol and regulate the w^iole. 

This idea is advanced on the supposition that one mind could 
command an unlimited direction over any given number of limhs, 
provided they were all connected by joint and sinew. But sup- 
pose, through some occult and inconceivable means, these limbs 
were dis-associated, as to all material connection ; suppose, for 
instance, one mind with unlimited authority, governed the ope- 
rations of tvjo separate persons, would not this substantially, be 
only one ijermn, seeing the directing principle was one ? If the 
truth here contended for, be admitted, that two persons, governed 
by one mind, is incontestably one person ; the same conclusion 
would be arrived at, and the proposition equally be justified, which 
affirmed that, three., or otherwise /ow/' persons, owning also neces- 
sary and essential subjection to one mind, would only be so many 
diversities or modifications of that one mind, and therefore, the 
component parts virtually collapsing into one whole, the person 
w^ould be one. Let any man ask himself, whose understanding 
can both reason and become the depository of truth, whether, if 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 239 



one mind thus regulated ^.vith absolute authority, three, or other- 
wise /owr persons, witli all their congeries of material parts, would 
not these parts inert in themselves, Avhen subjected to one pre- 
dominant mind, be in the most logical sense, one person ? Are 
ligament and exterior combination indispensable pre-requisites to 
the sovereign influence of mind over mind ? or mind over matter ? 

But perhaps it may be said, we have no instance of one mind 
governing more than one body. This may be, but the argument 
remains the same. 'With a proud spirit, that forgets its own 
contracted range of thought, and circumscribed knowledge, who 
is to limit the sway of Omnipotence ? or presumptuously to deny 
the possibility of that Being, who called light out of darkness, so^ 
to exalt the dominion of one mind, as to give it absolute sway over 
other dependent minds, or (indifferently) over detached, or com- 
bined portions of organized matter ? But if this superinduced 
quality be conferable on any order of created beings, it is blas- 
phemy to limit the povrer of God, and to deny his capacity to 
transfuse his ovm Spirit, when and to Vy^hom he will. 

This reasoning may now be applied in illustration of the Trinity. 
We are too much in the habit of viewing our Saviour Jesus Christ, 
through the medium of his body. ' A body was prepared for him,' 
but this body was mere matter ; as insensible in itself as every 
human frame when deserted by the soul. If, therefore, the Spirit 
that was in Christ, was the Spirit of the Father ; if no thought, 
no vibration, no spiritual communication, or miraculous display, 
existed in, or proceeded from Christ, not immediately and consub- 
stantially identified with Jehovah, the Great First Cause ; if all 
these operating principles were thus derived, in consistency alone 
with the conjoint divine attributes ; if this Spirit of the Father 
ruled and reigned in Christ as his own manifestation, then in the 
strictest sense, Christ exhibited 'the Godhead bodily,' and was 
1 -leniably ' one with the Father ;' confirmatory of the Saviour's 
words : ' Of myself (my body) I can do nothing, the Father that 
dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.' 

But though I speak of the body as inert in itself, and necessa- 
rily allied to matter, yet this declaration must not be understood 
as militating against the christian doctrine of the resurrection of 
the body. In its grosser form, the thought is not to be admitted 



210 REMIXISCEXCES OF 



for •' llesli and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,' but that 
the body, without losing its consciousness and individuality, may 
be subjected by the illimitable power of Omnipotence, to a subli- 
mating process, so as to be rendered compatible with spiritual as- 
sociation, is not opposed to reason, in its severe abstract exercises, 
while in attestation of this exhilarating hdicf, there are many re- 
mote analogies in nature exemplifying the same truth, wrhile it is 
in the strictest accordance with that final dispensation, which must, 
as christians, regulate all our speculations. I proceed now to say, 
that — 

If the postulate be thus admitted, that one mind influencing two 
Jbodies, vrould only involve a divei'sity of operations, but in reality 
be one in essence ; or otherwise as an hypothetical argument, il- 
lustrative of truth, if one pre-eminent mind, or spiritual subsistence, 
unconnected v/ith matter, possessed an undivided and sovereign 
dominion over two or more disembodied minds, so as to become 
the exclusive source of all their subtlest volitions and exercises, 
the unity, however complex tlie modus of its manifestation, would 
be fully established ; and this principle extends to Deity itself, and 
shows the true sense, as I conceive, in which Christ and the Father 
are one. 

In continuation of this reasoning, if God, w^ho is light, the Sun 
of the moral world, should in his union of infinite wisdom, power, 
and goodness, and from all eternity, have ordained that an emana- 
tion from himself, — for aught we know, an essential emanation, as 
light is inseparable fiom the luminary of day, — should not only 
hare existed in his Son, in the fulness of time to be united to a 
mortal body, but that a like emanation from himself, also perhaps 
essential, should have constituted the Holy Spirit, who, without 
losing his ubiquity, was more especially sent to this lower earth, 
hy the Son, at the impulse of the Father, then in the most com- 
prehensive sense, God, and his Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy 
Ghost, are one. ' Three persons in one God,' and thus form the 
true Trinity in Unity. 

To suppose that more than one independent power, or govern- 
ing mind, exists in the whole universe, is absolute Polytheism, 
against which the denunciations of all the Jewish and Christian 
canonical books w^ere directed. And if there be but one direct- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 241 



ing MIND, that mind is God ! operating hovrevej-, in three persons, 
according to the direct and uniform declarations of that inspiration 
which 'brought life and immortahty to light.' Yet this divine 
doctrine of the Trinity is to be received, not because it is or can 
be clear to finite apprehension, but, in reiteration of the argument, 
because the Scriptures, in their unsophisticated interpretation, 
expressly state it. The Trinity, therefore, from its important as- 
pects, and biblical prominence, is the grand article of faith, and 
the foundation of the whole Christian system. 

Who can say, as Christ and the Holy Ghost proceeded from, 
and are still one with the Father, and, as all the disciples of Christ 
derive their fulness from him, and, in spirit, are inviolately united 
to him as a branch is to the vine, who can say, but that in one 
view, what was once mysteriously separated, may as mysteriously 
be re-combined, and, without interferino- with the everlastinp' Trin- 
ity, and the individuality of the spiritual and seraphic orders, the 
Son, at the consummation of all things, deliver up his mediatorial 
kingdom to the Father, and God, in some peculiar and infinitely 
subHme sense, become all in all ! God love you, 

S. T. Coleridge."^' 

In a former page, Mr. Coleridge has been represented as en- 
tertaining sentiments in early life, approaching to, though not 
identified with, those of Unitarians ; on his return to Bristol, in 
the year 1807, a complete reverse had taken place in his theolog- 
ical tenets. Reflection and reading, particularly the Bible, had 
taught him, as he said, the unstable foundation on which Unita- 
rians grounded their faith ; and in proportion as orthodox senti- 
ments acquired an ascendency in his mind, a love of truth com- 
pelled him to oppose his former errors, and stimidated him, by an 
explicit declaration of his religious view^s, to counteract those for- 
Qier impressions, which his cruder opinions had led him once so 
strenuously to enforce on all around. 

The editor of Mr. Coleridge's ^' Table Talk," has conferred an 
mportant benefit on the public, by preserving so many of his fa- 
niliar conversations, particularly those on the important subject 

* It was a favorite citation with Mr. Coleridge, " I in them, and thou in 
ae, that they all may be one in us." 



24-2 REMINISCENCES OF 



of Unitiirianism. Few men ever poured forth torrents of mor< 
happily-expressed language, the result of more matured reflection 
in his social intercourse, than Mr. Coleridge ; and at this time, th< 
recollection is accompanied with serious regret, that I allowed to 
pass unnoticed so many of his splendid colloquies, which, could 
they be recalled, would exhibit his talents in a light equally fa /or 
able with his most deliberately-written productions. 

I did indeed take notes of one of his conversations, on his de- 
parture from a supper party, and Avhich I shall subjoin, because 
the confirmed general views, and individual opinions of so enlarged 
a mmd must command attention ; especially when exercised on 
subjects intrinsically important. I however observe, that my 
sketch of the conversation must be understood as being exceed- 
ingly far from domg justice to the original. 

At this time I was invited to meet Mr. Colerido-e with a zealoii- 

o 

Unitarian minister. It was natural to conclude, that such uncon- 
genial, and, at the same time, such inflammable materials would 
soon ignite. The subject of Unitarianism having been introduced 
soon after dinner, the minister avowed his sentiments, in language 
that was construed into a challenge, when Mr. Coleridge advanced 
at once to the charge, by saying, " Sir, you give up so much, thii 
the little you retain of Christianity is not worth keeping." W^ 
looked in vain for a reply. After a manifest internal conflict, th( 
Unitarian minister very prudently allowed the gauntlet to remain 
undisturbed. Wine he thought more pleasant than controversy. 

Shortly after this occurrence, Mr. Coleridge supped with th- 
writer, when his well-known conversational talents were eminently 
displayed ; so that what Pope affirmed of Bolingbroke, that " hi^ 
usual conversation, taken down verbatim, from its coherence and 
accuracy, would have borne printing, without correction," was 
fully, and perhaps more justly applicable to Mr. C. 

Some of his theological observations are here detailed. 

He said he had recently had a long conversation with an Unitarian 
minister, who declared that he could discover nothing in the Ne^v 
Testament which in the least favored the divinity of Christ, to 
which Mr. C. replied that it appeared to him impossible for any 
man to read the New Testament, with the common exercise of an 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 243 

unbiased understanding, without being convinced of the divinity 
of Christ, from the testimony almost of every page. 

He said it was evident that different persons might look at 
the same object with very opposite feelings. For instance, if Sir 
Isaac Xewton looked at the planet Jupiter, he would view him 
with his revolving moons, and would be led to the contemplation 
of his bemg inhabited, which thought would open a boundless 
field to his imagination : whilst another person, standing perhaps 
at the side of the great philosopher, would look at Jupiter with 
the same set of feelings that he would at a silver sixpence. So 
some persons were wilfully bhnd, and did not seek for that change, 
that preparation of the heart and understanding, which would 
enable them to see clearly the gospel truth. 

He said that Socinians believed no more than St. Paul did 
before his conversion : for the Pharisees believed in a Supreme 
Being, and a future state of rewards and punishments. St. Paul 
thought he ought to do many things contrary to the name of 
Jesus of iSTazareth. The saints he shut up in prison, having re- 
ceived authority from the High Priest, and when they were put to 
death, he gave his voice against them. But after his conversion, 
writing to the Romans, he says, ' I am not ashamed of the gospel 
of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation unto every man 
that believeth : to the Jew first, and also to the Gentiles.' 

He then referred to the dreadful state of the literati in London, 
as it respects religion, and of their having laughed at him, and 
believed him to be in jest, when he professed his belief in the 
Bible. 

Having introduced Mr. Davy to Mr. C. some years before, I 
inquired for him with some anxiety, and expressed a hope that he 
was not tinctured with the prevailing scepticism since his removal 
from Bristol to London. Mr. C. assured me that he was not: 
that his heart and understanding were not the soil for infidelity.* 

♦ In corroboration of this remark, an occurrence might be cited, from the 
Life of Sir Humphry, by his brother, Dr. Davy. — Sir Humphry, in his ex- 
cursion to Ireland, at the house of Dr. Richardson, met a large party at din- 
ner, amongst whom were the Bishop of Raphoe, and another Clergyman. 
A gentleman, one of the company, in his zeal for InfideUty, began an attack 
on Christianity, (no very gentlemanly conduct,) not doubting but that Sir H, 



244 REMINISCENCES OF 

I then remarked, " During your stay in London, you doubtless 
saw a great many of what are called ' the cleverest men ;' how do 
you estimate Davy in comparison with these ?" Mr. Coleridge's 
reply was strong, but expressive. " Why, Davy could eat them 
all ! There is an energy, an elasticity, in his mind, which enables 
him to seize on, and analyze, all questions, pushing them to their 
legitimate consequences. Every subject in Davy's mind has the 
principle of vitality. Living thoughts spring up like the turf 
under his feet." With equal justice, Mr. Davy entertained the 
same exalted opinion of Mr. Coleridge. 

Mr. C. now changed the subject, and spoke of Holcroft ; who 
he said was a man of but small powers, with superficial, rather 
than solid talents, and possessing principles of the most horrible 
description ; a man who at the very moment he denied the exist- 
ence of a Deity, in his heart believed and trembled. He said that 
Holcroft, and other atheists, reasoned with so much fierceness 
and vehemence against a God, that it plainly showed they were 
inwardly conscious there ivas a God to reason against ; for, a non- 
entity would never excite passion. 

He said that in one of his visits to London, he accidentally met 
Holcroft in a public office without knowing his name, when he 
began, stranger as he was, the enforcement of some of his dia- 
bolical sentiments ! which, it appears, h^ was in the habit of doing 
at all seasons, and in all companies ; by which he often corrupted 
the principles of those simple persons who listened to his shallow 
and worn-out impieties. Mr. C. declared himself to have felt in- 
dignant at conduct so infamous, and at once closed with the 

Davy, as a Philosopher, participated in his principles, and he probably antici- 
pated, with so powerful an auxiliary, an easy triumph over the cloth. With 
great confidence he began his flippant sarcasms at religion, and was heard 
out by his audience, and by none with more attention than by Sir Humphry. 
At the conclusion of his harangue, Sir H. Davy, instead of lending his aidy 
entered on a comprehensive defence of Christianity, ' in so fine a tone of elo- 
quence' that the Bishop stood up from an impulse similar to that which some- 
times forced a whole congregation to rise at one of the impassioned bursts of 
Massillon. 

The Infidel was struck dumb with mortification and astonishment, and 
fiiough a guest for the night, at the assembling of the company the next 
morning at breakfast, it was found that he had taken French leave, and a4 
the earliest dawn had set off for his own home. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 245 



*' prating atheist," when they had a sharp encounter. Holcroft 
then abruptly addressed him : " I perceive you have mind, and 
know what you are talking about. It will be worth while to 
make a convert of yoic. I am engaged at present, but if you will 
call on me to-morrow morning," giving him his card, " I will engage, 
in half an hour, to convince you there is no God !" 

Mr. Coleridge called on him the next morning, when the dis- 
cussion was renewed, but none being present except the disputants, 
no account is preserved of this important conversation ; but Mr. C. 
affirmed that he beat ail his arguments to atoms ; a result that 
none who knew him could doubt. He also stated that instead of 
his being converted to atheism, the atheist himself, after his man- 
ner, was converted ; for the same day he sent Mr. C. a letter, say- 
ing his reasoning was so clear and satisfactory, that he had changed 
his vievfs and was now '' a theist.''^ The next sun probably 
beheld him an atheist again ; but whether he called himself this 
or that, his character was the same. 

Soon after the foregoing incident, Mr. Coleridge said, he found 
himself in a large party, at the house of a man of letters, amongst 
whom, to his sui-prise, he saw Mr. and Mrs. Holcroft, when, to 
incite to a renewal of their late dispute, and before witnesses, 
(in the full consciousness of strength,) Mr. C. enforced the pro- 
priety of teaching children, as soon as they could articulate, to 
lisp the praises of their Maker ; " for," said he, '' though they 
can form no correct idea of God, yet they entertain a high opin- 
ion of their father, and it is an easy introduction to the truth, 
to tell them that their Heavenly Father is stronger, and wiser, 
and better, than their earthly father." 

The whole company looked at Mr. Holcroft, implying that noiu 
was the time for him to meet a competent opponent, and justify 
sentiments which he had so often triumphantly advanced. They 
looked in vain. He maintained, to their surprise, a total silence, 
well rememberinor the severe castio-ation he had so recently re- 
ceived. But a very different effect was produced on Mrs. Hol- 
croft. She indignantly heard, and giving vent to her passion 
and her tears, said, she was quite surprised at Mr. Coleridge talk- 
ing in that way before her, when he knew that both herself and 
Mr. Holcroft were atheists ! 



246 REMINISCENCES OF 



Mr. C. spoke of the unutterable horror he felt, when Holcroft^ 
son, a boy eight years of age, came up to him and said, " 1 
is no God !" So that these wretched parents, alike father and 
mother, were as earnest in inculcating atheism on their children, 
as christian pai*ents are in inspiring their offspring with respect 
for religious truth. 

Actions are often the best illustration of principles. Mi\ Cole- 
ridge also stated the following circumstance, notorious at the 
time, as an evidence of the disastrous effects of atheism. Hol- 
croft's tyrannical conduct towards his children was proverbial. 
An elder son, with a mind embued with his father's senti- 
ments, from extreme severity of treatment, had run away from 
his paternal roof, and entered on board a ship. Hoi croft pursued 
his son, and when the fugitive youth saw his father in a boat, 
rowing toward the vessel, rather than endure his frown and his 
chastisement, he seized a pistol, and blew his brains out ! ^ 

An easy transition having been made to the Bible, Mr. C. spoke 
of our Saviour Avith an utterance so sublime and reverential, that 
none could have heard him without experiencing an accession 
of love, gratitude, and adorations to the Great Author of our 
salvation. He referred to the DiA^inity of Christ, as a truth, in- 
contestible to all who admitted the inspiration, and consequent , 
authority of Scripture. He particularly alluded to the 6th of | 
John, V. 15. '' When Jesus perceived that they would come and ' 
take him by force to make him a king, he departed again into 
a mountain ' alone' " He said it characterized the low views, and 
worldly-mindedness of the Jews, that, after they had seen the 
miracles of Jesus Christ, and heard his heavenly doctrine, and had 
been told that his kingdom was not of this world, they should 
think of conferring additional honor on him by making him their 
King ! He departed from these little views and scenes, by nighty 
to a neighboring mountain, and there, in the spirit of prescience, 
meditated on his approaching crucifixion ; on that attendant guilt, 
which would bring on the Jews, wrath to the uttermost, and ter- 

* The father's remark on tlie occasion was, " There's an end of him ! A 
fine high-spirited fellow !" 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 247 

miiiate their impieties, by one million of their race being s\Yept 
from the face of the earth. 

Mr. C. noticed Doddridge's works with great respect, particu- 
larly his "Rise and Progress of Religion."* He thought favora- 

* Perhaps, the most valuable production of Mr. Foster, as to style and ten- 
dency, is the Essay which he prefixed to the Glasgow edition of Doddridge's 
" Rise and Progress of Religion." Mr. F. having sent me a letter relating to 
the above Essay, just as it was completed, it may not be unacceptable to the 
reader; where he will behold a fresh instance of the complex motives, in 
which the best of human productions often originate. 

" Sept. 10, 1825. 
My dear Sir, 

I am truly sorry not to have seen you, excepting on one short evening, for 
so long a time, and as I expect to go on Monday next to Lyme, I cannot be 
content without leaving for you a line or two, as a little link of continuity, if 
I may so express it, in our friendly communications. The preventive cause 
of my not seeing you, has been the absolute necessity of keeping myself un- 
interruptedly employed to finish a literary task which had long hung as a 
dead weight on my hands. 

Dr. Chalmers some three years since started a plan of reprinting in a neat 
form a number of respectable religious works, of the older date, with a pre- 
liminary'^ Essay to each, relating to the book, or to any analogous topic, at the 
writer's discretion. The Glasgow booksellers, Chalmers and Collins, the c;i3 
the Doctor's brother, and the other his most confidential friend, have acccr.I- 
ingly reprinted a series of perhaps now a dozen works, with essays, several 
by Dr. C. ; several by Irving; one by Wilberforce ; one by Daniel Wilson, 
&c. &c, I believe Hall, and Cunningham promised their contributions. I 
was inveigled into a similar promise, more than two years since. The work 
strongly urged on me for this service, in the first instance, was ' Doddridge's 
Rise and Progress,' and the contribution was actually promised to be fur- 
nished with the least possible delay, on the strength of which the book was 
immediately printed off — and has actually been lying in their warehouse as 
dead stock these two years. I was admonished and urged again and again, 
but in spite of the mortification, and shame, which I could not but feel, at thus 
occasioning the publisher a positive loss, my horror of writing, combined with 
ill health, invincibly prevailed, and not a paragraph was written till toward 
the end of last year, when I did summon resolution for the attempt. When I 
had written but a very few pages, the reluctant labor was interrupted, and 
suspended, by the more interesting one of writing those letters to our dear 
young friend, your niece. (Miss Saunders.) Not of course that this latter 
employment did not allow me time enough for the other, but by its more lively 
interest, it had the effect of augmenting my disinclination to the other. Soon 
after her removal, I resumed the task, and am ashamed to acknowledge such 
a miserable and matchless slowness of mental operation, that the task has 



•J48 REMINISCENCES OF 



bly of Lord Rochester's conversion as narrated bj Burnet ; spoke 
of Jeremy Taylor in exalted tenns, and thought the compass of 
his mind discovered itself in none of his works more than in his 
" Life of Chnst," extremely miscellaneous as it was. He also ex- 
pressed the strongest commendation* of Archbishop Leighton, 
whose talents were of the loftiest description, and which were, at 
the same time, eminently combined with humihty. He thought 
Bishop Burnet's high character of Leighton justly deserved, and 
that his whole conduct and spirit were more conformed to his 
Divine Master, than almost any man on record. 

I now proceed to say, it was with extreme reluctance that the 
Unitarians in Bristol resigned their champion, especially as other 
defections had recently occurred in their commuiiity, and that 
among the more intellectual portion of their friends. Although 
the expectation might be extravagant, they still cherished the hope, 
however languid, that Mr. ' --me oscillations, would once 

held me confined ever si: these few days. I heheve 

that nothing but a strong ^ :llin^ my engagement, and 

of not continuing to do a r ould have constrained 

me to so long a labor. It : ?o slender a result of 

so much time and toiL Th _ ri rneariy one half 

of Doddridge^s book, but : : rs of sentences, 

would have produced as n: : . i labor. I 

have aimed at great correct — 1 the labor 

of revisal and transcription ' litial 

composition. The thing L _ I iree 

times the length which w eiy 

little reference to tfie book v i is 

merely a serious inculcati r 
and men of the world. Ii- 
matters,) I rate it very mo : 
ness of expresaon. If it ; 
labor has been sadly thro 
making up to be sent from 

parcel of copies, and shall ^ :^_. : :.:.. . .: 

ton Street. 

My dear sir. I am absolutely ashamed to have bten 1 of 

what is no better than egotism, when I was mean 
what has detained me fix>m the pleasure of seeing 
My dear sir. 

Yours :iiu-t tnilv. 

John Foster." 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 249 

more bestow on them his suffrage ; but an occurrence took place, 
which dissipated the last vestige of this hope, and formed between 
them a permanent wall of separation. 

Mr. Coleridge was lecturing in Bristol, surrounded by a numer- 
ous audience, Avhen, in referring to the *' Paradise Regained," he 
said, that Milton had clearly represented Satan, as a ''sceptical 
Socinian." This was regarded as a direct and undisguised de- 
claration of war. It so happened that indisposition prevented 
me from attending that lecture, but I received from Mr. C. di- 
rectly after, a letter, in which he thus writes : 

* ^ ^ '^ " Mr. , I find, is raising the city 

against me, as far as he and his friends can, for having stated a 
mere matter of fact ; viz. that Milton had represented Satan as a 
sceptical Socinian ; which is the case ; and I could not have ex- 
plained the excellence of the subliraest single passage in all his 
writings, liad I not previously informed the audience, that Milton 
had represented Satan, as knowing the prophetic and Messianic 
character of Christ, but was sceptical as- to any higher claims. 

And what other definition could Mr. himself give of a 

sceptical Socinian ? (with this diflerence indeed, that Satan's faith 
somewhat exceeded that of Socinians.) ISTow that Satan has done 
so, will you consult ' Paradise Regained,' Book IV. from line 196, 
and the same Book, from Hne 500." 

It is of consequence that Mr. Coleridge's late?' sentiments on 
the subject of Socinianism should be given ; but as I had no op- 
portunity of ascertaining what those sentiments were, it was satis- 
factory to learn from the testimony of Mr. C.'s "Table Talk,"^ 

* " I think Priestly must be considered the author of modern Unitarianism. 
I owe, under God, my return to the faith, to my having gone much farther 
than the Unitarians, and so having come round to the other side. I can truly 
say, I never falsified the Scriptures. I always told them thai their interpreta- 
tions of Scripture were intolerable, on any principles of sound criticism; and 
that, if they were to offer to construe the will of their neighbor, as they did 
that of their Maker, they would be scouted out of society. I said, plainly 
and openly, that it was clear enough, John and Paul were not Unitarians. 

I make the greatest difference between ' ans ' and ' isms. ' I should deal 
insincerely, if I said that I thought Unitarianism was Christianity. No, as I 
believe, and have faith in the doctrine, it is not the truth in Jesus Christ. By- 
the-by, what do you (Unitarians) mean, by exclusively assuming the title of 

11^^ 



250 REMINISCENCES OF 



that his last and maturest opinions were, to the fullest, confirma- 
tory of those expressed by him in these pages. 

The following letter was written by Mr. Coleridge, to Mr. 
George Fricker, his brother-in-law; it is believed in 1807. Mr. 
F. died 1828 ; pious and respected. 

*' Saturday afternoon. 
My dear young Friend, 

I am sorry that you should have felt any delicacy in disclosing 
to me your religious feelings, as rendering it inconsistent with 

Unitarians 7 As if Trio-Unitarians were not necessarily Unitarians, as much 
(pardon the illustration) as an apple-pie, must of course be a pie ! The 
schoolmen would perhaps have called you Unidsls, but your proper name is 
PsilaiUhropists, believers in the mere human nature of Christ. * * * 
Unitarianism is, in effect, the worst of one kind of Atheism, joined to one of 
the worst kinds of Calvinism. It has no covenant with God, and it looks 
upon prayer as a sort of self-magnetizing ; a getting of the body and temper 
into a certain status, desirable, ^;cr se, but having no covenanted reference to 
the Being to whom the prayer is addressed. 

The pet texts of Socinians are quite enough for their confutation with acute 
thinkers. If Christ had been a mere man, it would have been ridiculous in 
him to call himself the ' Son of Man ; ' but being God and man, it then became, 
in his own assumption, a peculiar and mysterious title. So, if Christ had 
been a mere man, his saying ' my Father is greater than I,' (John xv. 28,) 
would have been as unmeaning. It would be laughable, for example, to hear 
me say, ' my ' Remorse ' succeeded indeed, but Shakspeare is a greater drama- 
tist than I.' But how immeasurably more foolish, more monstrous, would it be 
for a man, however honest, good, or wise, to say, ' But Jehovah is greater 
than I.' 

Either we have an immortal soul, or we have not. If we have not, we are 
beasts; the first and wisest of beasts it may be, but still true beasts. We 
shall only difler in degree, and not in kind ; just as the elephant differs from 
the slug. But by the concession of all the materialists, of all the schooli=i. or 
almost all, we are not of the same kind as beasts ; and this also we say, from 
our own consciousness. Therefore, methinks it must be the possession of a 
soul within us, that makes the difference. 

" Read the first chapter of the book of Genesis without prejudice, and you 
will be convinced at once. After the narrative of the creation of the earth 
and brute animals, Moses seems to pause, and says, ' And God said. Let us 
make man in our image, after our likeness.' And in the next chapter, he 
repeats the narrative. — ' And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the 
ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;' and then he adds 
these words, ' and man became a living soul.' Materialism will never ei- 
plain these last words. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 251 

your tranquillity of mind to spend the Sunday evening with me. 
Though I do not find in that book, which we both equally revere, 
any command, either express, or which I can infer, which leads 
me to attach any criminality to cheerful and innocent social inter- 
course on the Lord's day ; though I do not find that it was in the 
least degree forbidden to the Jews on their Sabbath ; and though 
I have been taught by Luther and the great founders of the 
Church of England, that the Sabbath was a part of the ceremo- 
nial and transitory parts of the law given by Heaven to Moses ; 
and that our Sunday is binding on our consciences, chiefly from 
its manifest and most awful usefulness, and indeed moral ne- 
cessity^ yet I highly commend your firmness in what you think 
right, and assure you solemnly, that I esteem you greatly for it. 
I would much rather that you should have too much, than an 
atom too little. I am far from surprised, that having seen what 
you have seen, and suffered what you have suffered, you should 
have opened your soul to a sense of our fallen nature, and the 
incapability of man to heal himself. My opinions may not be in 
all points the same as yours, but I have experienced a similar 
alteration. I was for many years a Socinian ; and at times al- 
most a Naturalist ; but sorrow, and ill-health, and disappointment 
in the only deep wish I had ever cherished, forced me to look 
into myself ; I read the New Testament again, and I became fully 
convinced, that Socinianism was not only not the doctrine of the 
New Testament, but that it scarcely deserved the name of a 
religion in any sense. An extract from a letter which I wrote a 
few months ago to a sceptical friend, who had been a Socinian, 
and of course rested all the evidences of Christianity on miracles, 
to the exclusion of grace and inward faith, will perhaps surprise 
you, as showing you how much nearer our opinions are than 
what you must have supposed. * I fear that the mode of defend- 
ing Christianity, adopted by Grotius first ; and latterly, among 
many others, by Dr. Paley, has increased the number of infidels ; — 
never could it have been so great, if thinking men had been habit- 
ually led to look into their own souls, instead of always looking out, 
both of themselves and of their nature. If to curb attack, such 
as yours on miracles, it had been answered : — * Well, brother ! 
but granting these miracles to have been in part the growth 



252 REMINISCENCES OF 

of delusion at the time, and of exaggeration afterward, yet still 
all the doctrines will remain untouched by this circumstance, and 
binding on thee. Still must thou repent and be regenerated, and 
be crucified to the flesh ; and this not by thy own mere power ; 
but by a mysterious action of the moral Governor on thee ; of the 
Ordo-ordinians, the Logos, or Word. Still will the eternal filia- 
tion, or Sonship of the Word from the Father ; still will the Trin- 
ity of the Deity, the redemption, and the thereto necessary as- 
sumption of humanity by the Word, * who is with God, and is 
God,' remain truths : and still will the vital head-and-heart faith 
in these truths, be the living and only fountain of all true virtue. 
Believe all these, and with the grace of the spirit con^lt your 
own heart, in quietness and humility, they will furnish you with 
proofs, that surpass all understanding, because they are felt and 
known ; believe all these I say, so as that thy faith shall be not 
merely real in the acquiescence of the intellect ; but actual, in 
the thereto assimilated affections ; then shalt thou know from 
God, whether or not Christ be of God. But take notice, I only 
say the miracles are extra essential ; I by no means deny their 
importance, much less hold them useless, or superfluous. Even 
as Christ did, so would I teach ; that is, build the miracle on the 
faith, not the faith on the miracle.' 

May heaven bless you, my dear George, and 

Your affectionate friend, 

S. T. C." 

In the intervening time, between the receipt of Mr. C.'s last 
letter, and his calling on me, I received a note from a lady, an 
old friend, begging permission to introduce to me a clever young 
man of her acquaintance, whom she even so honored as to call 
*' A little John Henderson ;" concerning whom, this young man 
Avished to make inquiries. An invitation immediately followed, 
and the lady introduced to me, young Mr. De Quincey. Several 
interviews followed, each exhibiting his talents in a more favor* 
able view, till I was satisfied he would either shine in literatiu-e, 
or, with steady perseverance, acquire eminence in either of the 
professions. 

He made many inquiries respecting John Henderson, of whose 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 253 



learning and surprising attainments, he had heard much. After 
conversing long on this subject, Mr. De Q. asked me if I knew any- 
thing of Mr. Coleridge's pecuniary affairs. I replied, "I am 
afraid he is a legitimate son of genius." He asked if I thought 
he would accept a hundred or two pounds. I answered, I could 
not tell, but that I expected shortly to see him, Vvdien, if he seriously 
desired to learn, I would ascertain what the state of his finances 
was, and let him know. This he said, was his particular wish. 

When Mr. Coleridge called on me, and the extended conversa- 
tion had occurred, before stated, I asked him concerning his cir- 
cumstances. He confessed that he had some present difficulties, 
which oppressed his mind. He said that all the money he had 
received from his office in Malta, as secretary to Sir Alexander Ball, 
had been expended in Italy, and on his way home. I then told 
him that a young man of fortune, who admired his talents, had 
inquired of me, if I thought he would accept the present of a 
hundred or two pounds, " and I now ask you," said I, " that 
question, that I may return an answer." Mr. Coleridge arose 
from his seat. He appeared much oppressed, and agitated, and, 
after a short silence, he turned to me and said : '' Cottle, I will 
write to you. We will change the subject." The next day I 
received from Mr. C. the following letter. 

" My dear Cottle, 

Independent of letter-writing, and a dinner engagement with 
C. Danvers, I was the whole of yesterday till evening, in a most 
wretched restlessness of body and limbs, having imprudently dis- 
continued some medicines, which are now my anchor of hope. 
This nK)rning I dedicate to certain distant calls on Dr. Beddoes 
and Colston, at Clifton, not so much for the calls themselves, as 
for the necessity of taking brisk exercise. 

But no unforeseen accident interveifing, I shall spend the even- 
ing with you from seven o'clock. 

I will now express my sentiments on the important subject 
communicated to you. I need not say it has been the cause of 
serious meditation. Undoubtedly calamities have so thickened on 
me for the last two years, that the pecuniary pressures of the 
moment, are the only serious obstacles at present to my com- 



254 REMINISCENCES OF 

pletion of those works, which, if completed, would make me 
easy. Besides these, I have reasons for belief that a Tragedy of 
mine will be brought on the stage this season, the result of which 
is of course only one of the possibilities of life, on which I am not 
fool enough to calculate. 

Finally therefore, if you know that any unknown benefactor is 
in such circumstances, that, in doing what he offers to do, he 
transgresses no duty of morals, or of moral prudence, and does not 
do that from feeling, which after reflection might perhaps dis- 
countenance, I shall gratefully accept it as an unconditional loan, 
which I trust I shall be able to restore at the close of two years. 
This however, I shall be able to know at the expiration of one 
year, and shall then beg to know the name of my benefactor, 
which I should then only feel delight in knowing, when I could 
present to him some substantial proof, that I have employed the 
tranquillity of mind, which his kindness has enabled me to enjoy, 
in sincere desires to benefit my fellow men. May God bless you. 

S. T. C." 

Soon after the receipt of this letter, (on my invitation,) Mr. De 
Quincey called on me. I said, I understood from Mr. Coleridge 
himself, that he labored under embarrassments. " Then," said 
he, "I will give him five hundred pounds." "Are you serious?" 
I said. He replied, " I am." I then inquired, " Are you of age ?" 
He said '' I am." I then asked, " Can you afford it?" He an- 
swered, "I can," and continued, "I shall not feel it." I paused. 
*'Well," I said, "I can know nothing of your circumstances but 
from your own statement, and not doubting its accuracy, I am 
wilhng to become an agent, in any way you prescribe." Mr. De 
Quincey then said, " I authorize you to ask Mr. Coleridge if he 
will accept from a gentleman, Avho admires his genius, the sum of 
five hundred pounds, but remember," he continued, " I absolutely 
prohibit you from naming to him, the source whence it was 
derived." I remarked : "To the latter part of your injunction, 
if you require it, I will accede, but although I am deeply inter- 
ested in Mr. Coleridge's welfare, yet a spirit of equity compels 
me to recommend you, in the first instance, to present Mr. C. 
with a smaller sum, and which, if you sec it right, you can at any 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 255 

time augment." Mr. De Quincey then replied, " Three hundred 
pounds I will give him, and you will obhge me by making this 
oflfer of mine to Mr. Coleridge." I replied, *' I will." I then 
gave him Mr. Coleridge's letter, requesting him to put it in his 
pocket, and read it at his leisure. Soon after, I received the fol- 
lowing communication from Mr. De Quincey. 

*' My dear Sir, 

I will write for the three hundred pounds to-morrow. I am 
not able to say anything farther at present, but will endeavor to 
call on you in a day or two. I am very sincerely, and with many 
thanks for your trouble in this affair, 

Yours, 
Thomas De Quincey." 

In a day or two Mr. De Quincey enclosed me the three hundred 
pounds, when I received from Mr. Coleridge the following receipt 
which I still retain. 

''November 12, 180Y. Received from Mr. Joseph Cottle, the 
sum of three hundred pounds, presented to me through him, by 
an unknown friend. 

Bristol. S. T. Coleridge." 

I have been thus particular in detailing the whole of this affair, 
so honorable to Mr. De Quincey ; and as I was the communicating 
agent, I thought it right, on this occasion, to give publicity to the 
transaction, on the principle of doing justice to all. Notwith- 
standing the prohibition, some indirect notices from myself, could 
have left no doubt with Mr. C. of the source of this handsome 
gift. 

It is singular, that a little before this time, (1807,) Mr. Coleridge 
had written to his friend Mr. Wade a melancholy letter, detailing 
his embarrassed circumstances ; so that Mr. De Quincey's three 
hundred pounds must have been received at an acceptable time ! 

No date determines when the following letter was written : sup- 
posed, 1807. 

" My dear Cottle, 

* * * The common end of all narrative, nay, of all 



256 REMINISCENCES OP 



poems is, to convert a series into a whole, to make those events, 
which, in real, or imagined history, move on in a straight hne, as- 
sume to our understandings a circular motion — the snake with its 
tail in its mouth. Hence, indeed, the almost flattering and ,yet 
appropriate term, Poesy, i. e. Poieses — making. Doubtless, to 
His eye, which alone comprehends all past and all future, in one 
eternal, what to our short sight appears straight, is but a part of 
the great cycle, just as the calm sea to us appears level, though 
it be indeed only a part of the globe. Now what the globe is in 
geography, miniaturing in order to manifest the truth, such is a 
poem to that image of God, which we were created into, and 
which still seeking that unity, or revelation of the one, in and by 
the many, which reminds it, that though in order to be an in- 
dividual being, it must go further from God ; yet as the receding 
from him, is to proceed toward nothingness and privation, it must 
still at every step turn back toward him, in order to be at all. A 
straight line continually retracted, forms of necessity a circular 
orbit. Now God's will and word cannot be frustrated. His fiat 
was, with ineffable awfulness, applied to man, when all things, 
and all living things, and man himself (as a mei'e animal) included, 
were called forth by the Universal, ' Let there be,' and when the 
breath of the Eternal superadded, to make an immortal spirit — 
immortality being, as the author of the ' Wisdom of Solomon' 
profoundly expresses it, ' the only possible reflex, or image of 
eternity.' The immortal finite is the contracted shadow of the 
eternal Infinite. Therefore nothingness, or death, to which we 
move, as we recede from God and from the Word, cannot be 
nothing ; but that tremendous medium between nothing and true 
being, which Scripture and inmost reason present as most, most 
horrible ! 

Affectionately, 



S. T. C." 



The following letter to Mr. Wade has no date, 



" Tuesday night, i. e. Wednesday Morning. 
My best and dearest Friend, 

I have barely time to scribble a few Hues, so as not to miss the 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 257 



post, for here as everywhere, there are cliaritable people who, 
taking it for granted that you have no business of your own, would 
save from the pain of vacancy, by employing you in theirs. 

As to the letter you propose to write to a man who is un- 
worthy even of a rebuke from jouj I might most unfeignedly ob- 
ject to some parts of it, from a pang of conscience forbidding me 
to allow, even from a dear friend, words of admiration, whicli are 
inapplicable in exact proportion to the power given to me of 
having deserved them, if I had done my duty. 

It is not of .comparative utility I speak: for as to what has 
been actually done, and in relation to useful effects produced, 
whether on the minds of individuals, or of the public, I dare 
boldly stand forward, and (let every man have his own, and that 
be counted mine which, but for, and through me, would not have 
existed) will challenge the proudest of my literary contempo- 
raries to compare proofs with me, of usefulness in the excitement 
of reflection, and the diffusion of original or forgotten, yet neces- 
sary and important truths and knowledge ; and this is not the 
less true, because I have suffered others to reap all the advan- 
tages. But, O dear friend, this consciousness, raised by insult of 
enemies, and alienated friends, stands me in little stead to my 
own soul, in how little then, before the all -righteous Judge ! who, 
requiring back the talents he had intrusted, v/ill, if the mercies of 
Christ do not intervene, not demand of me w^hat I have done, but 
why I did not do more ; why, with powers above so many, I had 
sunk in many things below most ! But this is too painful, and in 
remorsQ w^e often waste the energy v/nich should be better em- 
ployed in reformation — that essential part, and only possible 
proof, of sincere repentance. * ^ * 

May God bless you, and your affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

Toward the end of 1807, Mr. Coleridge left Bristol, and I saw 
nothing more of him for another seven years, that is, till 1814. 
All the leading features in Mr. Coleridge's hfe, during these two 
septennial periods, will no doubt be detailed by others. My un- 
dertaking recommences in 1814. Some preliminary remarks must 



258 REMINISCENCES OF 



precede tlie narrative, which has now arrrived at an important 
part."^ 

Neither to clothe the subject of biography with undeserved ap- 
plause, nor unmerited censure, but to present an exact portraiture, 
is the object which ought scrupulously to be aimed at by every 
impartial writer. Is it expedient ; is it lawful ; to give publicitv- 
to Mr. Coleridge's practice of inordinately taking opium ? which, 
to a certain extent, at one part of his life, inflicted on a lieart 
naturally cheerful, the stings of conscience, and sometimes almost 
the horrors of despair ? Is it right, in reference to one who has 
passed his ordeal, to exhibit sound principles, habitually warring 
with inveterate and injurious habits ,' producing for many years, 
an accumulation of bodily suffering, that wasted the frame; 
poisoned the sources of enjoyment ; entailed, in the long retinue of 
ills, dependence and poverty, and with all these, associated that 
which was far less bearable, an intolerable mental load, that 
scarcely knew cessation ? 

In the year 1814, all this I am afilicted to say, applied to Mr. 
Coleridge. The question to be determined is, whether it be best 
or not, to obey the first impulse of benevolence, and throw a 
mantle over these dark and appalling occurrences, and since the 
sufferer has left this stao-e of existence, to mourn in secret, and 
consign to oblivion the aberrations of a frail mortal ? This was 
my first design, but other thoughts arose. If the individual were 
alone concerned, the question would be decided ; but it might 
also be said, that the world is interested in the disclosures con- 
nected with this part of Mr. Coleridge's life. His example forms 
one of the most impressive memorials the pen ever recorded ; so 
that thousands hereafter, may derive instruction from viewing in 
Mr. C. much to approve, and in other features of his character, 
much also to regret and deplore. Once Mr. Coleridge expressed 
to me, with indescribable emotion, the joy he should feel, if he 
could collect around him all who were " beginning to tamper 
with the lulling, but fatal draught ;" so that he might proclaim as 
with a trumpet, ''the worse than death that opium entailed.'' 

* The following notice of Mr. C.'s opium habits, with the reasons for dis- 
closing them, were prejSxed to the " Early Recollections," ten years ago, but 
the arguments are equally applicable at this time, 1847. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 259 

I must add, if he could now speak from his grave, retaining his 
earthly, benevolent solicitude for the good of others, with an em- 
phasis that penetrated the heart, he would doubtless utter, " Let 
my example be a warning !" 

This being my settled conviction, it becomes in me a duty, with 
all practicable mildness, to give publicity to the following facts ; 
in which censure will often be suspended by compassion, and 
every feeling be absorbed in that of pity ; in which, if the veil 
be removed, it will only be, to present a clear and practical exem- 
plification of the consequences that progressively follow indulgen- 
ces in, what Mr. Coleridge latterly denominated, " the accursed 
drug !" 

To soften the repugnance which might, pardonably, arise in the 
minds of some of Mr. C.'s friends, it is asked, whether it be not 
enough to move a breast of adamant, to behold a man of Mr. Cole- 
ridge's genius, spell-bound by his narcotic draughts ? deploring, 
as he has done, in his letters to myself, the destructive conse- 
quences of opium ; writhing under its effects, — so injurious to 
mind, body, and estate ; submitting to the depths of humiliation 
and poverty, and all this for a season at least, accompanied with 
no effectual effort to burst his fetters, and assume the station in 
society which became his talents ; but on the contrary, submitting 
patiently to dependence, and grovelhng where he ought to soar ! 

Another powerful reason, which should reconcile the friends of 
Mr. Coleridge to this detail of his destructive habits, arises from 
the recollection that the pain given to their minds, is present and 
temporary. They should wisely consider that, though 4}hey re- 
gret, their regrets, like themselves, as time rolls on, are passing 
away ! but the example, — this clear, full, incontestable example, 
remains I And who can estimate the beneficial consequences of 
this undisguised statement to numerous succeeding individuals ? 
It is consolatory to believe, that had I written nothing else, this 
humble but unflinching narrative would be an evidence that I had 
not lived in vain. 

When it is considered also, how many men of high mental en- 
dowments, have shrouded their lustre, by a passion for this stim- 
ulus, and thereby, prematurely, become fallen spirits : would it 
not be a criminal concession to unauthorized feelings, to allow so 



260 REMINISCENCES OF 

impressive an exhibition of this subtle species of intemperance to 
escape from piibHc notice ; and, that no discredit might attach to 
tlie memory of the individual we love, to conceal an example, 
fraught with so much instruction, brouoht out into full display ? 
In the exhibition here made, the inexperienced, in future, may 
learn a memorable lesson, and be taught to shrink from opium, as 
they would from a scorpion ; which, before it destroys, invariably 
expels peace from the mind, and excites the worst species of con- 
flict, that 53f setting a man at war with himself. 

The most expressive and pungent of all Mr. Coleridge's self- 
upbraidings, is that, in which he thrills the inmost heart, by say- 
ing, with a sepulchral solemnity, " I have learned what a sin is 
against an infinite, imperishable being, such as is the soul of 
man !" And yet, is this, and such as this, to be devoted to for- 
getfulness, and all be sacrificed, lest some friend, disdaining util- 
ity, should prefer flattery to truth ? A concession to such advice 
would be treachery and pusillanimity combined, at Avhich none 
would so exult as the spirits of darkness. 

If some of the preceding language should be deemed too strong, 
by those who take but a contracted view of the subject, and who 
would wish to screen the dead, rather than to improve the living, 
let them judge what their impressions would be, in receiving, like 
myself, at this time, the communications from Mr. C, which will 
subsequently appear, and then dispassionately ask themselves, 
whether such impressive lessons of instruction ought to be doomed 
to oblivion. 

The folloAving letter to Mr. Wade, has no date, but the post- 
mark determines it to have been Dec. 8, 1813. 

* * ^' " Since my arrival at the Greyhound, Bath, 

I have been confined to my bedroom, almost to my bed. Pray for 
my recovery, and request Mr. Roberts's'^ prayers, for my infirm, 
wicked heart ; that Christ may mediate to the Father, to lead me 
to Christ, and give me a living instead of a reasoning faith 1 and 

* A dissenting minister of Bristol. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 261 



for my health, so far only as it may be the condition of my im- 
provement, and final redemption. 

My dear affectionate friend, I am your obliged, and grateful, 
and affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

I now proceed further to notice Mr. Coleridge's re-appearance 
in Bristol. 

Mr. C. had written from London in the year 1814, to a friend 
in Bristol, to announce that he was coming down to give a course 
of Lectures on Shakspeare, such as he had delivered at the Royal 
Institution, London, and expressing a hope that his friends would 
obtain for him as many subscribers as they could. Great efforts 
were made to obtain these subscribers, and the lectures were ac- 
cordingly advertised, to commence at the time appointed by the 
lecturer, and the place specified with the day and hour ; of the 
whole of which arrangement Mr. C. had received due notice, and 
expressed his approval. 

On the morning on which the lectures were to begin, a brother 
of Mr. George Cumberland, (a gentleman well known in the liter- 
ary world, residing in Bristol,) arrived in this city from London, 
on a visit to his brother, and casually said to him, " I came as far 
as Bath with one of the most amusing men I ever met with. At 
the White Horse, Piccadilly, he entered the coach, when a Jew 
boy came up with pencils to sell. This amusing gentleman asked 
the boy a few questions, when his answers being what he thought 
unusually acute, the gentleman said, ' that boy is not where he 
ought to be. He has talent, and if I had not an important en- 
gagement at Bristol to-morrow, I would not mind the loss of my 
fare, but would stay a day or two in London to provide some bet- 
ter condition for him.' He then called the waiter ; wrote to a 
gentleman in the neighborhood, with a pencil, urging him to pa- 
Tonize the bearer ; gave the boy five shillings, and sent him, with 
:he waiter, according to the address of the note." 

This same gentleman, he said, talked incessantly for thirty miles 
)ut of London, in the most entertaining way, and afterwards, with 
ittle intermission, till they arrived about Marlborough, when he 
liscovered that the lady who was in the coach with them, was 



262 REMINISCENCES OF 



the sister of a particular friend of his. *' On our arrival at Bath," 
said the brother, " this entertaining gentleman observed to me, ' I 
must here quit you, as I am determined not to leave this lady, 
who is going into North Wales, till I have seen her safe at her 
•brother's door ;' so here the amusing gentleman left us." 

" Why," said Mr. Cumberland, " I should not be surprised if 
that were Coleridge, and yet that cannot be, for he has an ap- 
pointment this day in Bristol." " That is the very name," said 
his brother. Mr. G. C. remarked, " This Mr. Coleridge is coming 
to Bristol, to give us a course of lectures on Shakspeare, and this 
evening he has appointed for his first lecture, at the Great Room, 
White Lion." " W^hatever the engagement may be," replied the 
brother, ''rely upon it, you will have no lecture this evening. 
Mr. C. at the present moment is posting hard towards North 
Wales !" The great business now was for those who had inter- 
ested themselves in the sale of tickets for the course, to hasten 
round to the purchasers, to announce that Mr. C. would be pre- 
vented from giving the lectures till further notice. 

In two or three days Mr. Coleridge presented himself in Bris- 
tol, after a right true journey into North Wales ; and then, another 
day was appointed to begin the course. The day arrived. His 
friends met in the afternoon, full of anxiety, lest a second disap- 
pointment should take place. Not one of them had seen Mr. C. 
in the course of that day, and they could not tell where he had 
dined. They then set off, to find out this intricate point, and hav- 
ing discovered him, after some difficulty, hurried him from the 
bottle, and the argument, to fulfil his less important, or at least, 
his less pleasing engagement. 

He arrived at the lecture-room, just one hour after all the com- 
pany had impatiently awaited him. Apologizing for an unavoid- 
able interruption! Mr. C. commenced his lecture orr Hamlet. I 
The intention is not entertained of pursuing this subject, except 
to remark, that no other important delay arose, and that the lec- 
tures gave great satisfaction. I forbear to make further remarks, 
because these lectures will form part of the London narrative. 

After this course had been terminated, and one or more friends 
had given him five pounds for his ticket, so rich a mine was not; 
to be abandoned. Another printed proposal was sent round for 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 263 

a course of six lectures, which was well attended. After this a 
proposal came for four lectures, which were but indifferently at- 
tended. Not discouraged, Mr. C. now issued proposals on a new 
subject, which he hoped Avould attract the many ; but alas, al- 
though the subject of the lectures was on no less a theme than 
that of Homer, only a few of his old stanch friends attended ; 
the public were wearied out, and the plan of lecturing now ceased, 
for these latter lectures scarcely paid the expenses. 

I should here mention, that Mr. Coleridge's lectures bore but a 
small resemblance to the polished compositions of Sir James 
Mackintosh. They were all of a conversational character, and 
were little other than the earnest harangues, with which on all 
possible occasions, he indulged his friends, so that there was lit- 
tle of the toil of preparation with him, and if the demand had 
been equal to the supply, he might have lectured continuously. 
But if there was little of formal and finished composition in Mr. 
C.'s lectures, there were always racy and felicitous passages, in- 
dicating deep thought, and indicative of the man of genius ; so 
that if polish was not always attained, as one mark of excellence, 
the attention of his hearers never flagged, and his large dark eyes, 
and his coimtenance, in an excited state, glowing with intellect, 
predisposed his audience in liis favor. 

It may here be mentioned, that in the year 1814, when Bo- 
naparte was captured and sent to Elba, the public expression of 
joy burst forth in a general illumination ; when Mr. Josiah Wade, 
wishing to display a large transparency, applied to his friend Mr. 
Coleridge then residing with him, for a subject, as a guide to his 
ingenious painter, of v/hich the following is a copy from Mr. C.'s 
original. 

The four lines Avere chosen, of which the two last have some- 
thing of a prophetic aspect. 

" On the right side of the transparency, a rock with the word Elba on it: 
chained to this by one leg, put a vulture with the head of Napoleon Bona- 
parte; then a female genius, representing Britannia, in a bending posture, 
with one hand holding out one wing of the vulture, and with the other clip- 
ping it with a large pair of shears ; on the one half of which appears either 
the word ' Wellington,' or the word ' army,' and on the other, either ' Nel- 
son,' or else ' navy ;' I should prefer Wellington and Nelson, but that I 



2G4 REMINISCENCES OP 



fear Wellington may be a word of too many letters. Behind Britannia, and 
occupying the right side of the transparency, a slender gilded colmnn, with 
' trade' on its base, and the cap of hberty on its top ; and on one side, lean- 
ing against it, a tiident laurelled, and on the other a laurelled sword. 

At the top of the transparency, and quite central, a dove, with an olive 
branch, may be hovering over the bending figure of Britannia. 

N. B. — The trident to be placed with the points upward, the sword with 
its hilt upward. 

We've conquer'd us a peace, like lads true metall'd: 
And bankrupt Nap.'s accompts seem all now settled. 



We've fought for peace, and conquer'd it at last, 
The rav'ning vulture's leg seems fetter'd fast ! 
Britons, rejoice ! and yet be wary too ; 
The chain may break, the dipt wing sprout anew." 

Returning now to the lectures. During their delivery it was 
remarked by many of Mr. C.'s friends, with great pain, that there 
was something unusual and strange in his look and deportment. 
The true cause was known to few, and least of all to myself. At 
one of the lectures, meeting Mr. Coleridge at the inn door, he said, 
grasping my hand with great solemnity, " Cottle, this day week 
I shall not be alive !" I was alarmed, and speaking to another 
friend, he replied, " Do not be afraid. It is only one of Mr. C.'s 
odd fancies." After another of the lectures, he called me on one 
side, and said, " My dear friend, a dirty fellow has threatened to 
arrest me for ten pounds." Shocked at the idea, I said, '* Cole- 
ridge, you shall not go to jail while I can help it," and imme- 
diately gave him the ten pounds. 

The following two letters were sent me, I believe, at or about 
this time. They have no date. 

'' My dear Cottle, 

An erysipelatous complaint, of an alarming nature, has rendered 
me barely able to attend and go through with my lectures, the 
receipts of which, have almost paid the expenses of the room, ad- 
vertisements, &c.* Whether this be to my discredit, or that of 

* It is apprehended that this must be a mistake. I sent Mr. Coleridge five 
guineas for my Shakspeare ticket, and entertain no doubt but that some others 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 265 

the good citizens of Bristol, it is not for me to judge. I have 
been persuaded to make another trial, by advertising three lec- 
tures, on the rise, and progress, and conclusion of the French 
Revolution, with a critique on the proposed constitution; but 
unless fifty names are procured, not a lecture give I. 

Even so the two far, far more important lectures, for which I 
have long been preparing myself, and have given more thought 
to, than to any other subject, viz. those on female education, 
from infancy to womanhood practically systematized, I shall be 
(God permitting) ready to give the latter end of the week after 
next, but upon condition that I am assured of sixty names. 
Why, as these are lectures that I must write down, I could sell 
them as a recipe for twice the sum at least. 

If I can walk out, I will be with you on Sunday. .Has Mr. 
Wade called on you ? Mr. Le Breton, a near neighbor of yours, 
in Portland Square, would, if you sent a note to him, converse 
with you on any subject relative to my interest, with congenial 
sympathy ; but indeed I think your idea one of those chime- 
ras, which kindness begets upon an unacquaintance with man- 
kind.* 

' Harry ! thy wish was father to that thought.' 

God bless you, 

S. T. C." 

'' My dear Cottle, 

I have been engaged three days past, to dine with the sheriff, 
at Merchant's Hall to-morrow. As they will not wield knife and 
fork till near six, I cannot of course attend the meeting, [for the 
establishment of an Infant School,] but should it be put off, and 
you will give me a little longer notice, I will do my best to make 
my humble talents serviceable in their proportion to a cause in 
which I take no common interest, which has always my best 

did the same. But his remark may refer to some succeeding lectures, of which 
I have no distinct recollection. 

* A request of permission from Mr. Coleridge, to call on a few of his known 
friends, to see if we could not raise an annuity for him of one hundred a year, 
that he might pursue his literary objects without pecuniary distractions. 

12 



266 REMINISCENCES OF 

wislies, and not seldom my pvayers. God bless you and your I 
affectionate friend, ' 

S. T. Coleridge. 

P. S. To you who know I prefer a roast potato and salt to the j 
most splendid public dinner, the very siglit of which always 
offends my infant appetite, I need not say that I am actuated 
solely by my pre- engagement, and by the impropriety of dii^ap- 
pointing the friend wdiom I am to accompany, and to whom prob- 
ably I owe the unexpected compliment of the sheriff's invitation. 

I have read two-thirds of Dr. Pole's^^ pamphlet on Infant 
Schools, with great interest. Thoughts on thoughts, feelings on 
feelings, crowded upon my mind and heart during the perusal, 
and which I w^ould fain, God vv iiiing, give vent to ! I truly t 
honor and love the orthodox dissenters, and appreciate Avith 
heart-esteem their works of love. I have read, with much pleas- 
ure, the second preface to the second edition of your ' Alfred.' 

It is well written." 

ll 

Mr. Coleridge's health appeared, at this time, increasingly pre- 
carious ; one complaint rapidly succeeded another; as will appeai 
by the three following notes. , 

'^1814. 
My dear Cottle, 

On my return home yesterday, I continued unwell," so as to be 
obliged to lie down for the greater part of the evening, and my 
indisposition keeping me awake during the whole night, I found! 
it necessary to take some magnesia and calomel, and I am atpres- ' 
ent very sick. I have little chance of being able to stir out this 
morning, but if I am better, I w^ll see you in the evening. God 
bless you, 

Mr. Wade's, Queen Square, S. T. Coleridge." 

Written on a card. 

" 1814. 
My dear Cottle, 

The first time I have been out of the house, save once at meet- 

* A worthy medical Friend of Bristol, who first in that city, interested him- 
self in the establishment of infant schools. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 267 

ing ; and the very first call I have made. I will be with you to- 
morrow by noon, if I have no relapse. This is the third morning, 
that, thank heaven, I have been free from vomiting." ^ '^ ^ 

Mr. Coleridge having designed to attend Broadmead meeting, 
I sent him a note to inquire if he would allow me to call and take 
him up ; he sent me the following reply. 

''1814. 
My dear Cottle, 

It was near ten before the maid got up, or waked a soul in the 
house. We are all in a hurry, for we had all meant to go to 
Broadmead. As to dining, I have not five minutes to spare to the 
family below, at meals. Do not call, for, if possible, I shall meet 
you at the Meeting. 

S. T. Coleridge." 
Mr. Wade's, Queen Square. 

I must now enter on a subject of profound interest. I had 
often spoken to Hannah More of S. T. Coleridge, and proceeded 
with him, one morning to Barley Wood, her residence, eleven 
miles from Bristol. The interview Avas mutually agreeable, nor 
was there any lack of conversation ; but I was struck with some- 
thing singular in Mr. Coleridge's eye. I expressed to a friend, 
the next day, my concern at having beheld him, during his visit 
to Hannah More, so extremely paralytic, his hands shaking to an 
alarming degree, so that he could not take a glass of wine without 
spilling it, though one hand supported the other! ''That," said 
he, " arises from the immoderate quantity of opium he takes." 

It is remarkable, that this was the first time the melancholy 
fact of Mr. Coleridge's excessive indulgence in opium had come to 
my knowledge. It astonished and afflicted me. Now the cause 
of his ailments became manifest. On this subject Mr. C. may 
have been communicative to others, but to me he was silent. I 
now saw it was mistaken kindness to give him money, as I had 
learned that he indulged in his potions according to the extent 
of his means, so that to be temperate, it was expedient that he 
should be poor. 



268 REMINISCENCES OF 

I ruminated long upon this subject, with indescribable sorrow ; 
and having ascertained from others, not only the existence of the 
evil, but its extent, so as to render doubt impossible, such was the 
impression of duty on my mind, I determined, however hazardous, 
to write to Mr. Coleridge, and that faithfully, otherwise, I consid- 
ered myself not a friend, but an enemy. At the end of his 
course, therefore, I addressed to him the following letter, under 
the full impression that it was a case of '' life and death," and 
that if some strong effort were not made to arouse him from his 
insensibility, speedy destruction must inevitably follow. Nothmg 
but so extreme a case, could have prompted, or could justify, 
such a letter as the following. 

"Bristol, April 25, 1814. 
Dear Coleridge, 

I am conscious of being influenced by the purest motives in 
addressing to you the following letter. Permit me to remind you 
that I am the oldest friend you have in Bristol, that I was such 
when my friendship was of more consequence to you than it is at 
present, and that at that time, you were neither insensible of my 
kindnesses nor backward to acknowledore them. I brinfy these 
things to your remembrance, to impress on your mind, that it is 
still a friend who is writing to you ; one who ever has been such, 
and who is now going to give you the most decisive evidence of 
his sincerity. 

When I think of Coleridge, I wish to recall the image of him, 
such as he appeared in past years ; now, how has the baneful use 
of opium thrown a dark cloud over you and your prospects. I 
would not say anything needlessly harsh or unkind, but I must 
be faithful. It is the irresistible voice of conscience. Others 
may still flatter you, and hang upon your words, but I have 
another, though a less gracious duty to perform. I see a brother 
sinning a sin unto death, and shall I not warn him ? I see him 
perhaps on the borders of eternity, in effect, despising his Maker's 
law, and yet indiflerent to his perilous state ! 

In recalling what the expectations concerning you once were, 
and the excellency with which, seven years ago, you wrote and 
spoke on religious truth, my heart bleeds to see how you are now 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 269 

fallen ; and thus to notice, how many exhilarating hopes are 
almost blasted by your present habits. This is said, not to wound, 
but to arouse you to reflection. 

I know full well the evidences of the pernicious drug ! You 
cannot be unconscious of the effects, though you may wish to for- 
get the cause. All around you behold the wild eye ! the sallow 
countenance ! the tottering step ! the trembling hand ! the dis- 
ordered frame ! and yet will you not be awakened to a sense of 
your danger, and I must add, your guilt ? Is it a small thing, 
that one of the finest of human understandings should be lost ! 
That your talents should be buried ! That most of the influences 
to be derived from your present example, should be in direct op- 
position to right and virtue ! It is true you still talk of religion, 
and profess the warmest admiration of the church and her doc- 
trines, in which it would not be lawful to doubt your sincerity ; 
but can you be unaware, that by your unguarded and inconsistent 
conduct, you are furnishing arguments to the infidel ; giving oc- 
casion for the enemy to blaspheme ; and (amongst those who im- 
perfectly know you) throwing suspicion over your religious pro- 
fession ! Is not the great test in somc^neasure against you, ' By 
their fruits je shall know them ?' Are there never any calm 
moments, when you impartially judge of your own actions by 
their consequences ? 

Not to reflect on you ; not to give you a moment's needless pain, 
but in the spirit of friendship, sufl*er me to bring to your recol- 
lection, some of the sad effects of your undeniable intemperance. 

I know you have a correct love of honest independence, without 
which, there can be no true nobility of mind ; and yet for opium, 
70U will sell this treasure, and expose yourself to the liability of 
arrest, by some 'dirty fellow,' to whom you choose to be indebted 
for * ten pounds !' You had, and still have, an acute sense of 
moral right and wrong, but is not . the feeling sometimes over- 
oowered by self-indulgence ? Permit me to remind you, that you 
ire not more suff"ering in your mind than you are in your body, 
svhile you are squandering largely your money in the purchase of 
)pium, which, in the strictest equity, should receive a different 
iirection. 

I will not again refer to the mournful eff'ects produced on your 



270 REMINISCENCES OF 

own health from this indulgence in opium, by which you have un- 
dermined your strong constitution ; but I must notice the injurious 
consequences which this passion for the narcotic drug has on your 
literary efforts. What you have already done, excellent as it is, 
is considered by your friends and the world, as the bloom, the 
mere promise of the harvest. Will you suffer the fatal draught, 
which is ever accompanied by sloth, to rob you of your fame, 
and, what to you is a higher motive, of your power of doing good ; 
of giving fragrance ten* your memory, amongst the worthies of 
future years, when you are numbered with the dead ? 

[And now I would wish in the most delicate manner, to 
remind you of the injurious effects which these habits of yours 
produce on your family. From the estimation in which you are 
held by the public, I am clear in stating, that a small daily exer- 
tion on your part, would be sufficient to obtain for you and them, 
honor, happiness, and independence. You are still comparatively, 
a young man, and in such a cause, labor is sweet. Can you with- 
hold so small a. sacrifice ? Let me sincerely advise you to return 
home, and live in the circle once more of your wife and family 
There may have been fauMI on one, possibly on both sides : but 
calumny itself has never charged criminality. J^et all be forgot- 
ten, a small effort for the christian. If I can become a mediator, 
command me. If you could be prevailed on to adopt this plan, jl 
I will gladly defray your expenses to Keswick, and I am sure, '' 
with better habits, you would be hailed by your family, I was 
almost going to say, as an angel from heaven. It will also look 
better in the eyes of the world, who are always prompt with their 
own constructions, and these constructions are rarely the most 
charitable. It would also powerfully promote your own peace of 
mind. 

There is this additional view, which ought to influence you, as 
it would every generous mind. Your wife and children are do- 
mesticated with Southey. He has a family of his own, which by 
his literary labor, he supports, to his great honor ; and to the 
extra provision required of him on your account, he cheerfidly 
submits ; still, will you not divide with him the honor ? You 
have not extinguished in your heart the Father's feelings. Your 
daughter is a sweet girl. Your two boys are promising ; and 



i 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 271 

Hartley, concerning whom you once so affectionately wrote, is 
eminently clever. These want only a father's assistance to give 
them credit and honorable stations in life. Will you withhold so 
equitable and small a boon ? Your eldest son will soon be quali- 
fied for the university, where your name would inevitably secure 
him patronage, but without your aid, how is he to arrive there ; 
and afterward, how is he to be supported ? Revolve on these 
things, I entreat you, calmly, on your pillow. j^"^ 

And now let me conjure you, alike by the voice of friendship, 
and the duty you owe yourself and family : above all, by the 
reverence you feel for the cause of Christianity ; by the fear of 
God, and the awfulness of eternity, to renounce from this mo- 
ment opium and spirits, as your bane !• Frustrate not the great 
end of 3^our existence. Exert the ample abilities v^^hich God has 
given you, as a faithful steward ; so will you secure your rightful 
pre-eminence amongst the sons of genius ; recover your cheerful- 
ness ; youi' health ; I trust it is not too late ! become reconciled 
to yourself; and through the merits of that Saviour, in whom 
you profess to trust, obtain, at last, the approbation of your 
Maker ! My dear Coleridge, be wise before it be too late ! I do 
hope to see you a renovated man ! and that you will still burst 
your inglorious fetters, and justify the best hopes of your friends. 

Excuse the freedom with which I write. If at the first mo- 
ment it should oflfend, on reflection, you will approve at least of 
the motive, and, perhaps, in a better state of mind, thank and 
bless me. If all the good which I have prayed for, should not 
be eff'ected by this letter, I have at least discharged an imperious 
sense of duty. I wish my manner were less exceptionable, as I 
do that the advice through the blessing of the Almighty, might 
prove effectual. The tear which bedims my eye, is an evidence 
of the sincerity vfith which I subscribe myself 

Your affectionate friend, 

Joseph Cottle." 

* This iong sentence, between brackets, was struck out by Mr. Southey, in 
perusing the MS., through delicacy, as it referred to himself; but on the present 
occasion it is restored. 



272 REMINISCENCES OF 



The following is Mr. Coleridge's reply. 



"April 26th, 1814. 

Yon have poured oil in the raw and festering wound of an old 
friend's conscience, Cottle ! but it is oil of vitriol / I but barely- 
glanced at the middle of the first page of your letter, and have 
seen no more of it — not from resentment, God forbid ! but from 
the state of my bodily and mental sufferings, that scarcely per- 
mitted human fortitude to let in a new visitor of affliction. 

The object of my present reply, is, to state the case just as it is 
— first, that for ten years the anguish of my spirit has been inde- 
scribable, the sense of my danger staring, but the consciousness 
of my GuiET worse — far ^worse than all ! I have prayed, with 
drops of agony on my brow ; trembling, not only before the jus- 
tice of my Maker, but even before the mercy of my Redeemer. 
' I gave thee so many talents, what hast thou done with them ?* 
Secondly, overwhelmed as I am with a sense of my direful infir- 
mity, I have never attempted to disguise or conceal the cause. 
On the contrary, not only to friends, have I stated the whole 
case wdth tears, and the very bitterness of shame ; but in two in- 
stances, I have warned young men, mere acquaintances, who had 
spoken of having taken laudanum, of the direful consequences, 
by an awful exposition of its tremendous effects on myself. 

TJiirdly, though before God I cannot lift iip my eyelids, and 
only do not despair of his mercy, because to despair would be 
adding crime to crime, yet to my fellows-men I may say, that I 
w^as seduced into the accursed habit ignorantly. I had been 
almost bedridden for many months, with swellings in my knees. 
In a medical Journal, I unhappily met with an account of a cure 
performed in a similar case, or what appeared to me so, by rub* 
bing in of laudanum, at the same time taking a given dose inter- 
nally. It acted like a charm, like a miracle ! I recovered the use 
of my limbs, of my appetite, of my spirits, and this continued for 
near a fortnight. At length the unusual stimulus subsided, the 
complaint returned, — the supposed remedy was recurred to — but I 
cannot go through the dreary history. 

Suffice it to say, that effects were produced which acted on me 
by terror and cowardice, of pain and sudden death, not (so help 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHED. 273 

me God !) by any temptation of pleasure, or expectation, or de- 
sire of exciting pleasurable sensations. On the very contrary, 
Mrs. Morgan and her sister will bear witness so far, as to say, that 
the longer I abstained, the higher my spirits were, the keener my 
enjoyments — till the moment, the direful moment arrived, when my 
pulse began to fluctuate, my heart to palpitate, and such falling 
abroad, as it were, of my whole frame, such intolerable restless- 
ness, and incipient bewilderment, that in the last of my several 
attempts to abandon the dire poison, I exclaimed in agony, which 
I now repeat in seriousness and solemnity, ' I am too poor to haz- 
ard this.' Had I but a few hundred pounds, but £200, — half to 
send to Mrs. Coleridge, and half to place myself in a private 
madhouse, where I could procure nothing but what a physician 
thought proper, and where a medical attendant could be con- 
stantly with me for two or three months, (in less than that time, 
life or death would be determined,) then there might be hope. 
Now there is none ! ! God ! how willingly would I place my- 
self under Dr. Fox, in his establishment ; for my case is a species 
of madness, only that it is a derangement, an utter impotence of 
the volition, and not of the intellectual faculties. You bid me 
rouse myself: go bid a man paralytic in both arms, to rub them 
briskly together, and that will cure him. ' Alas !' he would reply, 
'that I cannot move my arms, is my complaint and my misery.' 
May God bless you, and 

Your affectionate, but most afflicted, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

On receiving this full and mournful disclosure, I felt the deepest 
compassion for Mr. C.'s state, and sent him the following letter. 
(Necessary to be given, to understand Mr. Coleridge's reply.) 

'^ Dear Coleridge, 

I am afflicted to perceive that Satan is so busy with you, but 
God is greater than Satan. Did you ever hear of Jesus Christ ? 
That he came into the world to save sinners ? He does not de- 
mand, as a condition, any merit of your own ; he only says, ' Come 
and be healed !' Leave your idle speculations ; forget your vain 
philosophy. Come as you are. Come and be healed. He only 

12* 



274 REMINISCENCES' OF 

requires you to be sensible of your need of him, to give him your 
heart, to abandon with penitence, every evil practice, and he has 
promised that whosoever thus comes, he will in no wise cast out. 
To such as you Christ ought to be precious, for you see the hope- 
lessness of every other refuge. He will add strength to your o',vii 
ineiTectual efforts. 

For your encouragement, I express the conviction, that such 
exercises as yours, are a conflict that must ultimately prove suc- 
cessful. You do not cloak your sins. You confess and deplore 
them. I believe that you will still be as ' a brand plucked from 
the burning,' and that you (with all your wanderings) will be re- 
stored, and raised up, as a chosen instrument, to spread a Saviour's 
name. Many a ' chief of simiers,' has been brought, since the days 
of ' Saul of Tarsus,' to sit as a little child, at the Redeemer's feet. 
To this state you, I am assured, will come. Pray ! pray earnestly, 
and you will be heard by your Father, which is in Heaven. I 
could say many things of duty and virtue, but I w4sh to direct 
your views at once to Christ, in wtom is the alone balm for afflicted 
souls. May God ever bless you, 

Joseph Cottle. 

P. S. If my former letter appeared unkind, pardon me ! It was 
not intended. Shall I breathe in your ear ? — I know one, who is 
a stranger to these throes and conflicts, and who finds ' Wisdom's 
ways to be w^ays of pleasantness, and her paths, paths of peace.' " 

To this letter I received the following reply. 

*' dear friend ! I have too much to be forgiven, to feel any 
difficulty in forgiving the cruellest enemy that ever trampled on 
me : and you I have only, to thank ! You have no conception of 
the dreadful hell of my mind, and conscience, and body. You 
bid me pray. 0, I do pray inwardly to be able to pray ; but in- 
deed to pray, to pray with a faith to which a blessing is promised, 
this is the reward of faith, this is the gift of God to the elect. 
Oh ! if to feel how infinitely worthless I am, how poor a wretch, 
with just free-will enough to be deserving of wrath, and of my 



'J 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 275 

own contempt, and of none to merit a moment^s peace, can make 
a part of a Christian's creed ; so far I am a Christian. 

April 26, 1814. S. T. C." 

At this time Mr. Coleridge was indeed in a pitiable condition. 
His passion for opium had so completely subdued his will, that 
he seemed carried away, without resistance, by an overwhelming 
flood. The impression was fixed oif his mind, that he should in- 
evitably die, unless he were placed under constraint, and that con- 
straint he thought could be alone effected in an asylum ! Dr. 
Fox, who presided over an establishment of this description in the 
neighborhood of Bristol, appeared to Mr. C. the individual, to 
whose subjection he w^ould most like to submit. This idea still 
impressing his imagination, he addressed to me the following letter. 

" Dear Cottle, 

I have resolved to place myself in any situation, in which I can 
remain for a month or two, as a child, wholly in the power of 
others. But, alas ! I have no money ! Will you invite Mr. Hood, 
a most dear and affectionate friend to worthless me ; and Mr. Le 
Breton, my old school-fellow, and, likewise, a most affectionate 
friend ; and Mr. Wade, who will return in a few days ; desire them 
to call on you, any evening after seven o'clock, that they can make 
convenient, and consult with them whether anything of this kind 
can be done. Do you k^^ow Dr. Fox ? Affectionately, 

S. T. C. 

I have to prepare my lecture. Oh ! with how blank a spirit !"* 

I did know the late Dr. Fox, who was an opulent and liberal- 
minded man ; and if I had applied to him, or any friend had so 
done, I cannot doubt but that he would instantly have received 
Mr. Coleridge gratuitously ; but nothing could have induced me 
to make the application, but that extreme case, which did not 
then appear fully to exist. My sympathy for Mr. C. at this time, 
was so excited, that I should have withheld no effort, within my 
power, to reclaim, or to cheer him ; but this recurrence to an asy- 
lum I strenuously opposed. 

* Some supplemental lecture. 



276 REMINISCENCES OP 



Mr. Coleridge knew Dr. Fox himself, eighteen years before, and 
to the honor of Dr. F. I think it right to name, that, to my knowl- 
edge, in the year 1Y90, Dr. Fox, in admiration of Mr. C.'s talents, 
presented him with fifty pounds ! 

It must here be noticed, that, fearing I might have exceeded 
the point of discretion, in my letter to Mr. C, and becoming 
alarmed, lest I had raised a spirit that I could not lay, as well els 
to avoid an unnecessary weight of responsibility, I thought it best 
to consult Mr. Southey, and ask him, in tliese harassing circum- 
stances, what I was to do ; especially as he knew more of Mr. C.'s 
latter habits than myself, and had proved his friendship by evi- 
dences the most substantial. 

The years 1814 and 1815, were the darkest periods in Mr. 
Coleridge's life. However painful the detail, it is presumed that 
the reader would desire a knowledo^e of the undisg^uised truth. 
This cannot be obtained without introducinof the follovrinor letters 
of Mr. Southey, received from him, after having sent him copies 
of the letters which passed between Mr. Coleridge and myself. 

^•Keswick, April, 1814. 
My dear Cottle, 

You may imagine with what feelings I have read your corre- 
spondence with Coleridge. Shocking as his letters are, perhaps 
the most mournful thing they discover is, that while acknowledging 
the guilt of the habit, he imputes it stillito morbid bodily causes, 
whereas after every possible allowance is made for these, every 
person who has witnessed his habits, knows that for the greater, 
infinitely the greater part, inclination and indulgence are its mo- 
tives. 

It seems dreadful to say this, with his expressions before mo, 
but it is so, and I know it to be so, from my own observation, and 
that of all with whom he has lived. The Morgans, with great 
difficulty and perseverance, did break him of the habit, at a time 
when bis ordinary consumption of laudanum was, from two quarts 
a week, to a pint a day I He suffered dreadfully during the first 
abstinence, so much so, as to say it was better for him to die than 
to endure his present feelings. Mrs. Morgan resolutely replied, it 
was indeed better that he should die, than that he should continue 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 277 



to live as he had been hving. It angered him at the time, but the 
effort was persevered in. 

To what then was the relapse owing ? I beheve to this cause 
— that no use was made of renewed health and spirits ; that time 
passed on in idleness, till the lapse of time brought with it a sense 
of neglected duties, and then relief was again sought for a self- 
accusing mind ; — in bodily feelings, which when the stimulus 
ceased to act, added only to the load of self-accusation. This, 
Cottle, is an insanity which none but the soul's physician can cure. 
Unquestionably, restraint would do as much for him as it did when 
the Morgans tried it, but I do not see the slightest reason for be- 
heving it would be more permanent. This too I ought to say, 
that all the medical men to whom Coleridge has made his con- 
fession, have imiformly ascribed the evil, not to bodily disease, but 
indulgence. The restraint which alone could effectually cure, is 
that which no person can impose upon him. Could he be com- 
pelled to a certain quantity of labor every day, for his family y 
the pleasure of having done it Avould make his heart glad, and 
the sane mind would make the body whole. 

I see nothing so advisable for him, as that he should come 
here to Greta Hall. My advice is, that he should visit T. Poole 
for two or three weeks, to freshen himself and recover spirits, 
which new scenes never fail to give him. When there, he may 
consult his friends at Birmingham and Liverpool, on the fitness 
of lecturing at those two places, at each of which he has friends, 
and would, I should think beyond all doubt, be successful. He 
must be very unfortunate if he did not raise from fifty to one 
hundred pounds at the two places. But whether he can do 
this or not, here it is that he ought to be. He knows in what 
manner he would be received ; — by his children with joy ; by his 
wife, not with tears, if she can control them — certainly not with 
reproaches ; — by myself only with encouragement. 

He has sources of direct emolument open to him in the ' Cou- 
rieVy and in the 'Eclectic Review' — These for his immediate wants, 
and for everything else, his pen is more rapid than mine, and 
would be paid as well. If you agree with me, you 4iad better 
write to Poole, that he may press him to make a visit, which I 
know he has promised. His great object should be, to get out a 



278 REMINISCENCES OF 

play, and appropriate the whole produce to the support of his son 
Hartley, at College. Three months' pleasurable exertion would 
effect this. Of some such fit of industry I by no means despair ; 
of anything more than fits, I am afraid I do. But this of course 
I shall never say to him. From me he shall never hear aught 
but cheerful encouragement, and the language of hope. 

You ask me if you did wrong in writing to him. A man with 
your feelings and principles never does wrong. There are parts 
which would have been expunged had I been at your elbow, but 
in all, and in everj part it is strictly applicable. 

I hope your next vfill tell me that he is going to T. Poole's — I 
have communicated none of your letters to Mrs. Coleridge, who 
you know resides with us. Her spirits and health are beginning 
to sink under it. God 'bless you. 

Yours affectionately, Robert Southey." 

After anxious consideration, I thought the only effectual way 
of benefiting Mr. Coleridge, would be, to renew the object of an 
annuity, by raising for hi jv, amongst his friends, one hundred, or, if 
possible, one hundred and fifty pounds a year ; purposing through 
a committee of three, to pay for his comfortable board, and all 
necessaries, but not of giving him the disposition of any part, till 
it was hoped, the correction of his bad habits, and the establish- 
ment of his better principles, might qualify him for receiving it 
for his own distribution. It was difficult to believe that his sub- 
jection to opium could much longer resist the stings of his own 
conscience, and the solicitations of his friends, as well as the pe- 
cuniary destitution to which his q;;mm habits had reduced him. 
The proposed object w^as named to Mr. C, who reluctantly gave his 
consent. 

I now drew up a letter, intending to send a copy to all Mr. 
Coleridge's old and steady friends, (several of whom approved of 
the design,) but before any commencement was made, I transmit- 
ted a copy of my proposed letter to Mr. Southey, to obtain his 
sanction. The following is his reply. 

^' April lYth, 1814. 
Dear Cottle, 

I have seldom in the course of my life felt it so difficult to an- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 279 

swer a letter, as on the present occasion. There is however no 
alternative. I must sincerely express what I think, and be thank- 
ful that I am writing to one w^ho knows me tlioroughly. 

Of sorrow and humiliation I will say nothing. Let me come at 
once to the point. On what grounds can such a subscription as 
you propose raising for Coleridge be solicited ? The annuity to 
which your intended letter refers (£150) was given him by the 
Wedgewoods. Thomas, by his will, settled his portion on Cole- 
ridge, for his life. Josiah withdrew his about three years ago. 
The half still remaining amounts, w^hen the Income Tax is de- 
ducted, to £67 10s. That sum Mrs. C. receives. at present, and 
it is all which she receives for supporting herself, her daughter, 
and the two boys at school : — ^the boys' expenses amounting to 
the whole. No part of Coleridge's embarrassment arises from 
his wife and children, — except that he has insured his life for a 
thousand pounds, and pays the annual premium.. He never writes 
to them, and never opens a letter from them !^ 

In truth, Cottle, his embarrassments, and his miseries, of body 
and mind, all arise from one accursed cause — excess in ojnum, of 
which he habitually takes more than was ever known to be taken 
by any person before him. The Morgans, wath great effort, suc- 
ceeded in making him leave it off for a time, and he recovered in 
consequence health and spirits. He has now taken to it again. 
Of this indeed I w^as too sure before I heard from you — that 
his looks bore testimony to it. Perhaps you are not aware of 
the costliness of this drug. In the quantity which C. takes, it 
would consume mm than the whole which you propose to raise. 
A frightful consiS^tion of spirits is added. In this way bodily 
ailments are produced ; and the wonder is that he is still alive. 

There are but tw^o grounds on which a subscription of this 
nature can proceed : either when the object is disabled from 
exerting himself ; or when his exertions are unproductive. Cole- 
ridge is in neither of these predicaments. Proposals after propo- 
sals have been made to him by the booksellers, and he repeatedly 
closed with them. He is at this moment as capable of exertion as 

* Mr. Coleridge, in his " Church and State," speaks of employing a drawer 
in which were " too many of my unopened letters/' 



280 REMINISCENCES OF 



I am, and would be paid as well for whatever he might be pleased 
to do. There are two Reviews, — the ' Quarterly/ and the ' Eclec- 
tic/ in both of which he might have employment at ten guineas a 
sheet. As to the former I could obtain it for him ; in the latter, 
they are urgently desirous of his assistance. He promises, and 
does nothing. 

I need not pursue this subject. What more can I say ? He 
may have new friends who would subscribe to this plan, but they 
cannot be many ; but among all those who know him, his habits 
are known also. 

Do you as you think best. My own opinion is, that Coleridge 
ought to come here, and employ himself, collecting money by the 
way, by lecturing at Birmingham and Liverpool. Should you 
proceed in your intention, my name must not be mentioned. / 
subscribe enough. Here he may employ himself without any dis- 
quietude about immediate subsistence. Nothing is wanting to 
make him easy in circumstances, and happy in himself, but to 
leave off opium, and to direct a certain portion of his time to the 
discharge of his duties. Four hours a day would suffice. Be- 
lieve me, my dear Cottle, very affectionately 

Your old Friend, 

Robert Southey." 

The succeeding post brought me the following letter. 

" Keswicl^^ril 18, 1814. 
My dear Cottle, ^^ 

I ought to have slept upon your letter before I answered it. 
In thinking over the subject (for you may be assured it was not 
in my power to get rid of the thought) the exceeding probability 
occurred to me. * ^ 

When you talked, in the proposed letter you sent me, of Cole- 
ridge producing valuable works if his mind were relieved by the 
certainty of a present income, you suffered your feelings to over- 
power your memory. Coleridge had that income for many years. 
It was given him expressly that he might have leisure for lite- 
rary productions ; and to hold out the expectation that he would 



I 

ed ■ 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 281 

perform the same conditions, if a like contract were renewed, is 
what experience will not warrant. 

You will probably waite to Poole on this subject. In that case, 
state to him distinctly what my opinion is : that Coleridge should 
return home to Keswick, raising a supply for his present exigen- 
cies, by lecturing at Birmingham, and Liverpool, and then, if 
there be a necessity, as I fear there will he (arising solely and 
wholly from his own most culpable habits of sloth and self-indul- 
gence) of calling on his friends to do that which he can and ought 
to do, — for that time the humiliating solicitation should be re- 
served. ^ ^ God bless you, 

Robert Southey." 

1^0 advantage would arise from recording dialogues with Mr. 
Coleridge ; it is sufficient to state that Mr. C.'s repugnance to visit 
Greta Hall, and to apply his talents in the way suggested by Mr. 
Southey, was invincible ; neither would he visit T. Poole, nor lec- 
ture at Birmingham nor Liverpool. 

Just at this time I was afflicted with the bursting of a blood 
vessel, occasioned, probably, by present agitations of mind, which 
reduced me to the point of death ; when the intercourse of friends, 
and even speaking, were wholly prohibited. 

During my illness, Mr. Coleridge sent my sister the following 
letter ; and the succeeding one to myself. 

^^Sth May, 1814. 
Dear Madam, 

I am uneasy to know how my friend, J. Cottle, goes on. The 
walk I took last Monday to inquire, in person, proved too much 
for my strength, and shortly after my return, I w^as in such a 
swooning way, that I was directed to go to bed, and orders were 
given that no one should interrupt me. Indeed I cannot be suffi- 
ciently grateful for the skill with which the surgeon treats me. 
But it must be a slow, and occasionally, an interrupted progress, 
after a sad retrogress of nearly twelve years. To God all things 
are possible. I entreat your prayers, your brother has a share 
in mine. 

What an astonishing privifege, that i sinner should be permit- 



282 REMINISCENCES OF 

ted to cry, ' Our Father !' Oh, still more stupendous mercy, that 
this poor ungrateful sinner should be exhorted, invited, nay, com- 
manded, to pray — ^to pray importunately. That which great men 
most detest, namely, importunacy ; to this the Giver and the 
FoRGivER ENCOURAGES li'is sick petitioners ! 

I will not trouble you except for one verbal answer to this note. 
How is your brother ? 

With affectionate respects to yourself and your sister, 

S. T. Coleridge. 

To Miss Cottle, Brunswick Square." 

'^Friday, 27th May, 1814. 
My dear Cottle, 

Gladness be with you, for your convalescence, and equally so, 
at the hope which has sustained and tranquillized you through 
your imminent peril. Far otherwise is, and hath been, my state ; 
yet I too am grateful ; yet I cannot rejoice. I feel, with an inten- 
sity, unfathomable by vfords, my utter nothingness, impotence, 
and worthlessness, in and for myself. I have learned what a 
sin is against an infinite imperishable being, such as is the soul 
of man. 

I have had more than a giimpse of v.^hat is meant by death and 
outer darkness, and the worm that dieth not — and that all the hell 
of the reprobate, is no more inconsistent with the love of God, 
than the blindness of one who has occasioned loathsome and guilty 
diseases to eat out his eyes, is inconsistent with the light of the 
sun. But the consolations, at least, tlie sensible sweetness of 
hope, I do not possess. On the contrary, the temptation which I 
have constantly to fight up against, is a fear, that if annihilation 
and the possibility of heaven, were offered to my choice, I should 
choose the former. 

This is, perhaps, in part, a constitutional idiosyncracy, for when 
a mere boy, I wrote these lines : 

Oh, what a wonder seems the fear of death. 

Seeing how gladly we all sink to sleep ; 

Babes, children, youths and men, 

Night following night, for three-score years and ten.* 

* These four lines in the edition of Mr. C.'s Poems, published ^fter his 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 283 

And in my early manhood, in lines descriptive of a gloomy 
Bolitude, I disguised my own sensations in the following words : 

' Here wisdom might abide, and here remorse ! 
Here too, the woe-worn man, who weak in soul, 
And of this busy human heart aweary, 
Worships the spirit of unconscious life, 
In tree, or wild-flower. Gentle lunatic ! 
If so he might not wholly cease to be, 
He would far rather not be that he is ; 
But would be something that he knows not of, 
In woods, or waters, or among the rocks.' 

My main comfort, therefore, consists in what the divines call 
the faith of adherence, and no spiritual effort appears to benefit 
me so much as the one earnest, importunate, and often, for hours, 
momently repeated prayer: 'I believe. Lord help my unbelief ! 
Give me faith, but as a mustard seed, and I shall remove this 
mountain ! Faith, faith, faith ! I believe, give me faith ! O, 
for my Redeemer's sake, give me faith in my Redeemer.' 

In all this I justify God, for I w^as accustomed to oppose the 
preaching of, the terrors of the gospel, and to represent it as de- 
basing virtue, by the admixture of slaving selfishness. 

I now see that what is spiritual, can only be spiritually appre- 
hended. Comprehended it cannot. 

Mr. Eden gave you a too flattering account of me. It is true, 
I am restored, as much beyond my expectations almost, as my 
deserts ; but I am exceedingly weak. I need for myself, solace 
and refocillation of animal spirits, instead of being in a condition 
of offering it to others. Yet, as soon as I may see you, I will 
call on you. 

S. T. Coleridge. 

P. S. It is no small gratification to me, that I have seen and 
conversed with Mrs. Hannah More. She is, indisputably, the 

death, are oddly enough thrown into the " Monody on Chatterton," and form 
the four opening lines. Many readers may concur with myself in thinking, 
that the former commencement was preferable ; namely, — • 

•'When faint and sad, o'er sorrow's desert wild, 
Slow journeys onward poor misfortune's child ;" &c. 



284 REMINISCENCES OF 



1 



first literary female I ever met with. In part, no doubt, because 
she is a christian. Make my best respects when you WTite." 

The serious expenditure of money, resulting from Mr. C.'s con- 
sumption of opium, was the least evil, though very great, and 
which must have absorbed all the produce of Mr. C.'s lectures, 
and all the liberalities of his friends. It is painful to record such 
circumstances as the following, but the picture would be incom- 
plete without it. 

Mr. Coleridge, in a late letter, with something it is feared, if not 
of duplicity, of self-deception, extols the skill of his surgeon, in hav- 
ing gradually lessened his consumption of laudanum, it was under- 
stood, to twenty drops a day. With this diminution, the habit 
was considered as subdued, and at which result, no one appeared 
to rejoice more than Mr. Coleridge himself. The reader will be 
surprised to learn, that, notw^ithstanding this flattering exterior, 
Mr. C. Avhile apparently submitting to the directions of his medi- 
cal adviser, was secretly indulging in his usual overwhelming 
quantities of opium ! Heedless of his health, and every honor- 
able consideration, he contrived to obtain surreptitiously, the fatal 
drug, and thus to baffle the hopes of his warmest friends. 

Mr. Coleridge had resided, at this time, for several months, 
with his kind friend, Mr. Josiah Wade, of Bristol, who, in his so- 
licitude for his benefit, had procured for him, so long as it was 
deemed necessary, the professional assistance, stated above. The 
surgeon on taking leave, after the cure had been effected, well 
knowing the expedients to which opium patients would often re- 
cur, to obtain their proscribed draughts ; at least, till the habit of 
temperance was fully established, cautioned Mr. W. to prevent 
Mr. Coleridge, by all possible means, from obtaining that by 
stealth, from which he was openly debarred. It reflects great 
credit on Mr. Wade's humanity, that to prevent all access to 
opium, and thus, if possible, to rescue his friend from destruc- 
tion, he engaged a respectable old decayed tradesman, constantly 
to attend Mr. C. and, to make that which was sure, doubly cer- 
tain, placed him even in his bed-room ; and this man always ac- 
companied him whenever he went out. To such surveillance Mr. 
Coleridge cheerfully acceded, in order to show the promptitude 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 285 

with which he seconded the efforts of his friends. It has been 
stated that every precaution was unavaiUng. By some unknown 
means and dexterous contrivances, Mr. C. afterward confessed 
that he still obtained his usual lulling potions. 

As an example, amongst others of a similar nature, one inge- 
nious expedient, to which he resorted, to cheat the doctor, he 
thus disclosed to Mr. Wade, from whom I received it. He said, 
in passing along the quay, where the ships were moored, he 
noticed, by a side glance, a druggist's shop, probably an old re- 
sort, and standing near the door, he looked toward the ships, and 
pointing to one at some distance, he said to his attendant, " I 
think that's an American." '' Oh, no, that I am sure it is not," 
said the man. "I think it is," replied Mr. C. "I wish you 
would step over and ask, and bring me the particulars." The 
man accordingly went ; when as soon as his back was turned, 
Mr. C. stepped into the shop, had his portly bottle filled with 
laudanum, which he always carried in his pocket, and then expe- 
ditiously placed himself in the spot where he was left. The man 
now returned with the particulars, beginning, " I told you, sir, it 
was not an American, but I have learned all about her." " As I 
am mistaken, never mind the rest," said Mr. C, and walked on."* 

Every bad course of conduct (happily for the good of social* 
order) leads to perplexing, and generally to disastrous results. 
The reader w^ill soon have a practical illustration, that Mr. Cole- 
ridge was not exempt from the general law. 

A common impression prevailed on the minds of his friends, 
that it was a desperate case that paralyzed all their efforts : that 
to assist Mr. C. with money, which, under favorable circumstances, 
would have been most promptly advanced, would now only en- 
large his capacity to obtain the opium which was consuming him. 
We at length learnt that Mr. Coleridge was gone to reside with 
his friend Mr. John Morgan, in a small house, at Calne, in Wilt- 
shire. So gloomy were our apprehensions, that even the death 
of Mr. C. was mournfully expected at no distant period ! for his 

* This man must have been just the kind of vigilant superintendent Mr. C. 
desired; ready to fetch a book, or a box of snuff, &c., at command. The 
preceding occurrence vvrould not have been introduced, but to illustrate the 
supreme ascendency which cTpium exercises over its unhappy votaries. 



286 REMINISCENCES OF 

actions at this time, were, we feared, all indirectly of a suicidal 
description. 

In a letter from Mr. Southey, dated October 27, 1814, he thus 
writes : — 

'' My dear Cottle, 

It is not long since I heard of you from Mr. De Quincey : but 
I wish you would sometimes let me hear from you. There was a 
time when scarcely a day passed without my seeing you, and in 
all that time, I do not remember that there was a passing cloud 
of coolness between us. The feeling, I am sure, continues : do not 
then let us be so entirely separated by distance, which in cases of 
correspondence may almost be considered as a mere abstraction. 

^ % * ^ vr ^ ^* 

Can you tell me anything of Coleridge ? We know that he is 
with the Morgans at Calne. What is to become of him ? He 
may find men who will give him board and lodging for the sake 
of his conversation, but who will pay his other expenses ? He 
leaves his family to chance, and charity. With good feelings, 
good principles, as far as the understanding is concerned, and an 
intellect as clear, and as powerful as was ever vouchsafed to man, 
he is the slave of degrading sensuality, and sacrifices everything 
to it. The case is equally deplorable and monstrous. 

Beheve me, my dear Cottle, 

Ever your affectionate old friend, 

Robert Southey." 

Of Mr. Coleridge I now heard nothing, but in common with all 
his friends, felt deep solicitude concerning his future course; 
when, in March, 1815, I received from him the following letter : — 

"Calne, March T, 1815. 
Dear Cottle, 

You will wish to know something of myself. In health, I am 
not worse than when at Bristol I was best ; yet fluctuating, yet 
unhappy ! in circumstances * poor indeed !' I have collected my 
scattered, and my manuscript poems, sufficient to make one vol- 
ume. Enough I have to make another. But till the latter is fin- 
ished, I cannot without great loss of character, publish the former 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 287 

on account of the arrangement, besides the necessity of correction. 
For instance, I earnestly wish to begin the volumes, with what 
has never been seen by any, however few, such as a series of Odes 
on the different sentences of the Lord's Prayer, and more than all 
this, to finish my greater work on ' Christianity, considered as 
Philosophy, and as the only Philosophy.' All the materials I 
have in no small part, reduced to form, and written, but, oh me ! 
what can I do, when I am so poor, that in having to turn off every 
week, from these to some mean subject for the newspapers, I dis- 
tress myself, and at last neglect the greater, wholly to do little 
of the less. If it were in your power to receive my manuscripts, 
(for instance, what I have ready for the press of my poems,) and 
by setting me forward with thirty or forty pounds, taking care 
that what I send, and would make over to you, would more than 
secure you from loss, I am sure you would do it. And I would 
die (after my recent experience of the cruel and insolent spirit of 
calumny) rather than subject myself, as a slave, to a club of sub- 
scribers to my poverty. 

If I were to say I am easy in my conscience, I should add to 
its pains by a lie ; but tliis I can truly say, that my embarrass- 
ments have not been occasioned by the bad parts, or selfish in- 
dulgences of my nature. I am at present five and twenty pounds 
in arrear, my expenses being at £2 10s. per week. You will say 
I ought to live for less, and doubtless I might, if I were to alienate 
myself from all social affections, and from all conversation with 
persons of the same education. Those who severely blame me, 
never ask, vfhether at any time in my life, I had for myself and 
my family's wants, £50 beforehand. 

Heaven knows of the £300 received, through you, what went 
to myself.^ No ! bowed down under manifold infirmities, I yet 
dare to appeal to God for the truth of what I say ; I have remained 
poor by always having been poor, and incapable of pursuing any 
one great work, for want of a competence beforehand. 

S. T. Coleridge." 

* This statement requires an explanation, which none now can give. Was 
the far larger proportion of this £300 appropriated to the discharge of Opium 
debts'? This does not seem unlikely, as Mr. C. lived with friends, and he 
could contract few other debts. 



288 REMINISCENCES OP 



This was precisely the termination I was prepared to expect. 
I had never before, through my whole life refused Mr. C. an ap- 
plication for money; yet I now hesitated; assured that the sum 
required, was not meant for the discharge of board, (for which he 
paid nothing,) but for the purchase of opium, the expense of which, 
for years, had amounted nearly to the two pounds ten shillings 
per week. Under this conviction, and after a painful conflict, I 
sent Mr. C. on the next day, a friendly letter, declining his re- 
quest in the kindest manner I could, but inclosing a five pound 
note. It happened that my letter to Mr. Coleridge passed on the 
road, another letter from him to myself, far more harrowing than 
the first. This was the last letter I ever received from Mr. C. 

The following is Mr. Coleridge's second letter. 

*^Calne, Wiltshire, March 10, 1815. 
My dear Cottle, 

I have been waiting with the greatest uneasiness for a letter 
from you. My distresses are impatient rather than myself : inas- 
much as for the last five weeks, I know^ myself to be a burden on 
those to w^hom I am under great obligations : w^ho would gladly 
do all for me ; hut ivho have done all they can I Irfcapable of any 
exertion in this state of mind, I have now wTitten to Mr. Hood, 
and have at length bowled my heart down, to beg that four or five 
of those, who I had reason to believe, w^ere interested in my wel- 
fare, would raise the sum I mentioned, between them, should you 
not find it convenient to do it. Manuscript poems, equal to one 
volume of 230 to 300 pages, being sent to them immediately. 
If not, I must instantly dispose of all my poems, fragments and 
all, for whatever I can get from the first rapacious bookseller, 
that will give anything — and then try to get my livelihood where 
I am, by receiving, or waiting on day-pupils, children or adults, 
but even this I am unable to wait for without some assistance : 
for I cannot but with consummate baseness, throw the expenses 
of my lodging and boarding for the last five or six weeks on those 
who must injure and embarrass themselves in order to pay them. 
The * Friend ' has been long out of print, and its re-publication 
has been called for by numbers. 

Indeed from the manner in which it was first circulated, it is 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 289 



little less than a new work. To make it a complete and circular 
work, it needs but about eight or ten papers. This I could and 
would make over to you at once in full copy-right, and finish it 
outright, with no other delay than that of finishing a short and 
temperate Treatise on the Corn Laws, and their national and moral 
effects ; which had I even twenty pounds only to procure myself 
a week's ease of mind, I could have printed before the bill had 
passed the Lords. At all events let me hear by return of post. 
I am confident that whether you take the property of my Poems, 
or of my Prose Essays, in pledge, you cannot eventually lose the 
money. 

As soon as I can, I shall leave Calne for Bristol, and if I can 
procure any day pupils, shall immediately take cheap lodgings 
near you. My plan is to have tAventy pupils, ten youths or 
adults, and ten boys. To give the latter three hours daily, from 
eleven o'clock to two, with ey eption of the usual school vacations, 
in the Elements of English, Greek, and Latin, presenting them 
exercises for their employment during the rest of the day, and two 
hours every evening to the adults (that is from sixteen and older) 
on a systematic plan of general knowledge ; and I should hope 
that £15 a year, v>'ould not be too much to ask from each, which 
excluding Sundays and two vacations, would be httle more than 
a shilling a day, or six shillings a week, for forty-two weeks. 

To this I am certain I could attend with strictest regularity, or 
indeed to anything mechanical. 

But composition is no voluntary business. The very necessity 
of doing it robs me of the power of doing it. Had I been pos- 
sessed of a tolerable competency, I should have been a voluminous 
writer. But I cannot, as is feigned of the Nightingale, sing with 
my breast against a thorn. God bless you, 

Saturday, Midnight. S. T. Coleridge." 

The receipt of this letter filled me with the most poignant grief; 
much for the difficulties to which Mr. C. was reduced, but still 
tnore for the cause. In one letter, indignantly spurning the con- 
tributions of his "club of subscribers to his poverty;" and m 
his next (three days afterwards) earnestly soliciting this assistance ; 
The victorious bearer away of University prizes, now bent down 

13 



290 REMINISCENCES OF 

to the humiliating desire of keeping a day school, for a morsel of 
bread ! The man whose genius has scarcely been surpassed, pro- 
posing to *' attend" scholars, " children or adults," and to bolster 
up his head, at night in " cheap lodgings !" Oppressed with debt, 
contracted by expending that money on opium, which should 
have been paid to his impoverished friend ; and this, at a moment, 
when, for the preceding dozen years, if he had called his mighty 
intellect into exercise, the "world" Vvould have been "all before 
him, where to choose his place of rest." But at this time he 
preferred, to all things else, the Circean chalice ! 

These remarks have reluctantly been forced from me ; and 
never would they have passed the sanctuary of m.y own breast, 
but to call on every consumer of the narcotic poison, who fancies, 
perchance, that in the taking of opium there is pleasure only 
and no pain, to behold in this memorable example, the inevitable 
consjequences which follow that " accursed practice !" Property 
consumed ! health destroyed ! independence bartered ; respecta- 
bility undermined ; family concord subverted ! that peace sacrificed, 
which forms so primary an ingredient in man's cup of happiness ! i 
— a deadly war with conscience ! and the very mind of the un- | 
happy votary, ( whilst the ethereal spirit of natural affection gene- 
rally escapes !) despoiled of its best energies. 

I venture the more readily on these reflections, from the hope 
of impressing some young delinquents, who are beginning to sip 
the " deadly poison ;" little aware that no habit is so progressive, 
and that he who begins with the little, will rapidly pass on to the 
much ! I am also additionally urged to these mournful disclos- 
ures, from their forming one portion only, of Mr. Coleridge's life. 
It has been my unenviable lot, to exhibit my friend in his lowest 
points of depression ; conflicting vrith unhallowed practices, and, 
as the certain consequence, with an accusing conscience. 

Most rejoiced should I have been, had my opportunities and 
acquaintance with Mr. Coleridge continued, to have traced the 
gradual development into action, of those better principles which 
were inherent in his mind. This privilege is reserved for a mor§ 
favored biographer ; and it now remains only for me, in a closing 
remark, to state, that, had I been satisfied that the money Mr. C. 
required, would have been expended in lawful purposes, I would 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 291 

have supplied him, (without being an affluent man,) to the utmost 
of his requirements, and not by dividing the honor with others, 
or receiving his writings in pledge ! But, knowing that whatever 
moneys he received would assuredly be expended in opium, com- 
passion STAYED MY HAND. 

In my reply to liis second letter, by ** return of post," I inclosed 
Mr. C. another five pounds : urged him in a kind letter, to come 
immediately to Bristol, where myself and others would do all 
that could be done, to advise and assist him. I told him at the 
same time, that, when I declined the business of a bookseller, I 
forever quitted publishing, so that I could not receive his MSS. 
valuable as they doubtless were ; but I reminded him, tJiat as his 
merits were noiv appreciated by the public, the London booksel- 
lers would reiidily enter into a treaty, and remunerate him liber- 
ally. Mr. Coleridge returned no answer to my letter ; came not 
to Bristol, but went in the next spring to London, as I learned 
indirectly ; and I now await a narrative of the latter period of Mr. 
C.'s life, and particularly the perusal of his " posthumous Avorks," 
with a solicitude surpassed by none. 

I mentioned before that from my intimate knowledge of Mr. 
Coleridge's sentiments and character, no doubt could be enter- 
tained by me, of its* being Mr. C.'s earnest wish, in order to ex- 
hibit to his successors the pernicious consequences of opium, that, 
when called from this world, the fullest publicity should be given 
to its disastrous effects on himself. But whatever confidence 
existed in my own mind, it might be, I well knew, no easy task, to 
inspire, with the same assurance, some of his surviving friends ; 
so that I have been compelled to argue the point, and to show, to 
those who shrunk from such disclosures, that Mr. Coleridge's ex- 
ample was intimately combined with general utility, and that none 
ought to regret a faithful narration of (unquestionably) the great 
bane of his life, since it presented a conspicuous example, which 
might arrest the attention, and operate as a warning to many 
others. 

From a conviction of the tender ground on which I stood, and 
entertaining a latent suspicion that some, whom I could wish to 
have pleased, would still censure, as unjustifiable exposure, what 
with me was the result of conscience ; I repeat, with all these 



292 REMINISCENCES OF 

searching apprehensions, the reader will judge what my compli- 
cated feelings must have been, of joy and sorrow ; a momentary 
satisfaction, succeeded by the deepest pungency of affliction, 
when, (after all the preceding was written,) Mr. Josiah Wade, pre- 
sented to me the following mournful and touching letter addressed 
to him by Mr. Coleridge, in the year 1814, which, whilst it 
relieved my mind from so onerous a burden, fully corroborated 
all that I had presumed, and all that I had affirmed. Mr. W. 
handed this letter to me, that it might be made public, in con- 
formity with his departed friend's injunction. 

'^Bristol, June 26th, 1814. 
Dear Sir, 

For I am unworthy to call any good man friend — much less 
you, whose hospitality and love I have abused ; accept, however, 
my entreaties for your forgiveness, and for your prayers. 

Conceive a poor miserable wretch, who for many years has 
been attempting to beat off pain by a constant recurrence to the 
vice that reproduces it. Conceive a spirit i% hell, employed in 
tracing out for others the road to that heaven, from which his 
crimes exclude him ! In short, conceive whatever is most 
wretched, helpless, and hopeless, and you will form as tolerable a 
notion of my state, as it is possible for a good man to have. 

I used to think the text in St. James that ' he who offended in 
one point, offends in all,' very harsh : but I now feel the awful, 
the tremendous truth of it. In the one crime of opium, what 
crime have I not made myself guilty of ! — Ingratitude to ray 
Maker ! and to my benefactors — injustice ! and unnatural cruelUj 
to my poor children ! — self-contempt for nay repeated promise — 
breach, nay, too often, actual falsehood I 

After my death, I earnestly entreat that a foil and unqualified 
narration of my wretchedness, and of its guilty cause, may be 
made public, that at least, some little good may be effected by 
the direful example. 

May God Almight}" bless you, and have mercy on your still 
affectionate, and in his heart, grateful — 

S. T. Coleridge." 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 293 

This is indeed a redeeming letter. We here behold Mr. Cole- 
ridge in the lowest state of human depression, but his condition 
is not hopeless. It is not the insensibility of final impenitence ; 
it is not the slumber of the grave. A gleam of sunshine bursts 
through the almost impenetrable gloom ; and the virtue of that 
prayer, " May God Almighty have mercy !" in a penitent heart, 
like his, combined as we know it was, with the recognition of 
Him, who is " the Way, the Truth, and the Life," authorizes the 
belief that a spirit thus exercised, had joys in reserve, and was to 
become the recipient of the best influences that can illumine 
regenerate man. 

• No individual ever effected great good in the moral world, who 
had not been subjected to a long preliminary discipline ; and He 
who knows what is in man ; who often educes good from evil, can 
best apportion the exact kind and degree, indispensable to each 
separate heart. Mr. Coleridge, after this time lived twenty years. 
A merciful Providence, though with many mementoes of decay, 
preserved his body, and in all its vigor sustained his mind. Power 
was given him, it is presumed, and fervently hoped to subdue his 
former pernicious practices. The season of solemn reflection it is 
hoped arrived, that his ten talents were no longer partially buried, 
but that the lengthened space extended to him, was consecrated 
by deep reflection, and consequent qualification, to elucidate and 
establish the everlasting principles of christian truth. 

Under such advantages, we are authorized in forming the high- 
est expectations from his Great Posthumous Work. Nothing 
which I have narrated of Mr. Coleridge, wdll in tlie least subtract 
from the merit, or the impression of that production, effected in 
his mature manhood, when his renovated faculties sent forth new 
coruscations, and concentrated the results of all his profound 
meditations. The very process to which he had been exposed, 
so unpropitious as it appeared, may have been the most favorable 
for giving consistency to his intellectual researches. He may have 
thought in channels the more refined, varied and luminous, from 
the ample experience he had acquired, that the only real evil in 
this world, was the frown of the Almighty, and his favor the only 
real good ; so that the grand work, about to appear, may add 



294 REMINISCENCES OF 



pedi- ■ 



strength to the strong, and give endurance to the finished pedi- 
ment of his iisefvihiess and his fame. 

But although all these cheering anticipations should be fully real- 
ized, regrets will still exist. It will ever be deplored, that Mr- 
Coleridge's system of Christian Ethics, had not yet been delib- 
erately recorded by himself. This feeling, however natural, is 
still considerably moderated, by reflecting on the ample competence 
of the individual on whom the distinction of preparing this sys- 
tem has devolved ; a security that it will be both well and faith- 
fully executed, and which, in the same proportion that it reflects 
credit on the editor, will embalm with additional honors the 
memory of Samuel Taylor Coleridge ; a genius, Avho in the* 
opulence of his imagination, and his rich and inexhaustible capa- 
bilities, as a poet, a logician, and a metaphysician, has not per- 
haps been surpassed since the days of Milton. 

The following letter of Mr. Coleridge, was written a short time 
before his death, to a young friend. This deliberate exposition 
of his faith, and at such a season, cancels every random word or 
sentence, Mr. C. may ever have expressed or written, of an oppo- 
sing tendency. In thoughtless moments Mr. C. may sometimes 
have expressed himself unguardedly, attended, on reflection, no 
doubt with self-accusation, but here in the full prospect of disso- 
lution, he pours forth the genuine and ulterior feelings of his soul. 

" To Adam Steinmetz Kinnaird, 

My dear god-child, — I offer up the same fervent prayer for 
you now, as I did kneeling before the altar, when you were bap- 
tized into Christ, and solemnly received as a living member of his 
spiritual body, the church. Years must pass before you will be 
able to read with an understandinor heart what I now write. But 

o 

I trust that the all-gracious God, the Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, the Father of mercies, who, by his only-begotten Son, (all 
mercies in one sovereign mercy !) has redeemed you from evil 
ground, and willed you to be born out of darkness, but into light ; 
out of death, but into life ; out of sin, but into righteousness ; 
even into 'the Lord our righteousness;' I trust that he will gra- 
ciously hear the prayers of your dear parents, and be with you 
as the spirit of health and growth, in body and in mind. My 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 295 

dear godchild, you received from Christ's minister, at the baptismal 
font, as your Christian name, the name of a most dear friend of 
your father's, and Avho was to me even as a son, the late Adam 
Steinmetz, whose fervent aspirations, and paramount aim, even 
from early youth, was to be a Christian in thought, v/ord, and 
deed ; in will, mind, and affections. I too, your godfather, have 
known what the enjoyment and advantages of this hfe are, and 
what the more refined pleasures v/hich learning and intellectual 
power can give ; I now, on the eve of my departure, declare to 
you, and earnestly pray that you may hereafter live and act on 
the conviction that health is a great blessing ; competence, ob- 
tained by honorable industry, a great blessing ; and a great bless- 
ing it is, to have kind, faithful, and loving friends and relatives ; 
but that the greatest of all blessings, as it is the most ennobling 
of all privileges, is to be indeed a Christian. But I have been 
likewise, through a large portion of my later life, a sufferer, sorely 
^ffected with bodily pains, languor, and manifold infirmities, and 
Pbr the last tjp'ce or four years have, with few and brief intervals, 
been confined to a sick room, and at this moment in great weakness 
and heaviness, vrrite from a sick bed, hopeless of recovery, yet 
Vv^ithout prospect of a speedy removal. And I thus, on the brink 
of the grave, solemnly bear v/itness to you, that the Almighty 
Redeemer, most gracious in his promises to themx that truly seek 
' him, is faithful to perform what he has promised ; and has reserved 
under all pains and infirmities, the peace that passeth all under- 
standing, with the supporting assurance of a reconciled God, who 
will not withdrav/ his spirit from me in the conflict, and in his 
own time vdU deliver me from the evil one. my dear godchild ! 
eminently blessed are they who begin early to seek, fear, and love 
their God, trusting wholly in the righteousness and mediation of 
their Lord, Redeemer, Saviour, and everlasting High Priest, Jesus 
Christ. Oh, preserve this as a legacy and bequest from your 
unseen godfather and friend, 

S. T. Coleridge. 
July 13th, 1834. 
Grove, Hio:ho^ate.'' 

Is the writer of this epistle the man, who twenty years before, 



296 REMINISCENCES OF 



even coveted annihilation ! Is this the man, who so long pre- 
ferred, to all things else, the " Circean Chalice !" Is this he, 
who at one time learned to his unutterable dismay, what a sin was, 
" against an imperishable being, such as is the soul of man?" Is 
this he, vv^hose will was once extinguished by an unhallowed 
passion, and he himself borne along toward perdition by a flood 
of intemperance ! Is this the man who resisted the light, till 
darkness entered his mind, and with it a '' glimpse of outer dark- 
ness !" Is this he, who feared that his own inveterate and aggra- 
vated crimes would exclude him from that heaven, the road to 
which lie was tracing out for others ! Is this he, that through 
successive years, contended with the severest mental and bodily 
atliictions ; who knew the cause, but rejected the remedy ? — who, 
in 1807, declared himself " rolhng rudderless," "the wreck of 
what he once was," " with an unceasing overwhelming sensation 
of wretchedness?" and in 1814, who still pronounced , himself the 
endurer of all that v/as wretched, helpless, and hopeless ?" Sam- 
uel Taylor Coleridge is the man on whom all liiese charges 
and fearful anticipations once rested : but he it is fervently hoped, 
was changed ; that he was renovated ; that, when refuge failed, 
an unseen power subdued the rebellious, and softened the hard ; 
and that he approached the verge of life in the serenity of faith * 
and hope. 

Before the effect of this letter, the eccentricities of S. T. Cole- * 
ridge — his indiscretions, his frailties, vanish away. There is in it 
a mellowed character, accordant with a proximity to the eternal 
state, when alone the objects of time assume their true dimen- 
sions ; when, earth receding ; eternity opening ; the spirit, called •» 
to launch its untried bark on the dark and stormy waters that 
separate both worlds, descries light afar, and leans, as its only 
solace, on the hope of a Christian. 

Checkered indeed was the hfe of this great but imperfect man. 
His dawn was not without promise. Hopes and blessings at- 
tended him in his course, but mists obscured his noon, and- tem- 
pests long followed him ; yet he set, it is hoped, serene and in 
splendor, looking on, through faith in his Redeemer, to that 
cloudless morning, where his sun shall no more go down. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 297 



The attention of the reader Avill now be directed to letters of Mr. 
Southey, briefly relating to Mr. Coleridge, and to circumstances 
connected with the publication of the " Early Recollections of S. 
T. Coleridge," 1837 ; — with a reference to the distressing malady 
with which Mrs. Southey was afflicted. 

'^Keswick, Feb. 26, 1836. 
My dear Cottle, 

* ^ ^ ^ I never go out btit for regular exer- 
cise. Constant occupation ; a daily walk whatever the weather 
may be ; constitutional buoyancy of spirits ; the comfort I have 
in my daughters and son ; the satisfaction of knowing that 
nothing is neglected for my dear Edith, which can be done by hu- 
man care and dutiful attention ; above all, a constant trust in 
God's mercy, and the certainty that whatever he appoints for us 
is best ; these are my supports, and I have as much cause to be 
thankful for present consolation, as for past happiness. 

* *^ "^ ^^ If this domestic affliction had not fal- 
len upon us, it w^as my intention to have seen you in October 
1834, and have brought my son Cuthbert with me; and if it 
please God that I should ever be able to leave home for a distant 
journey, this I still hope to do, and if you are not then in a bet- 
ter place than Bedminster, I am selfish enough to wish you may 
stay there till we meet ; and indeed for the sake of others, that it 
may be to the utmost limits which may be assigned us. I would 
give a great deal to pass a week with you in this world. When 
I called on your brother Robert, in London, four years ago, he 
did not recollect me, and yet I was the least changed of the two. 

I should very much like to show you the correspondence which 
once passed between Shelley and myself. Perhaps you are not 
acquainted with half of his execrable history. I know the whole, 
and as he gave me a fit opportunity, I read him such a lecture 
upon it as he deserved. 

God bless you, my dear old friend, 

Robert Southey." 

I shall now refer to some incidental subjects relating to Mr. 
Southey, which could not be well introduced in an earlier stage. 



298 REMINISCENCES OF 

In drawing up my "Early Recollections of S. T. Coleridge/* 
so many references had been made to Mr. Southey, that, notwith- 
standing his general permission, I deemed it proper to transmit 
him the MS., with a request that he would, without hesitation, 
draw his pen across any portions to w^hich he either objected, or 
thought it might be better to omit. A further benefit also was 
anticipated by such inspection, as any error w^hich might inad- 
vertently have crept in, as to facts and dates, w^ould infallibly be 
detected by Mr. Southey's more retentive memory. Mr. S. thus 
replied : 

'^Keswick, March 6, 1836. 
My dear Cottle, 

You wall see that I have draw^n my pen across several passages 
in your MS. of " Early Recollections.'"'^ The easiest way of show- 
ing you those small inaccuracies, will be by giving j^ou a slight 
summary of the facts, most of them antecedent to my introduction 
to you. 

Since your manuscript has arrived, I have received from Lon- 
don, two volumes of 'Letters and Conversations of S. T. Cole- 
ridge,' published anonymously by one of his later friends, Mr. 
Alsop, by name, a person of whom I never heard before. Mr. 
Moxon, the publisher, whites to me thus concerning it : ' Li many 
respects I regret that I undertook the publication of the work, 
for though at my earnest solicitation, many objectionable passa- 
ges respecting both yourself and Mr. Wordsw^orth Avere left out, 
yet much I fear still remains that ought not to have been pub- 
lished ; and yet if I had refused the w^ork, it w^ould most likely 
have been pubhshed by some other bookseller, with more in it to 
offend than there is at present.' 

Now there .is nothing in this work relating to myself of the 
slightest consequence, but the worst enemy of S. T. C. could not 
have done so much injury to his character as this injudicious friend 
has done ; who, be it observed, w^as also a friend of Cobbet's. He 
calls on Mr. Green, his presumed editor, not to conceal Coleridge's 
real opinions from the public, and certainly represents those opin- 
ions as being upon most, if not all subjects, as lax as his own. 

* Such were omitted in the published work. 



S. T. COfeERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 299 

Coleridge's nephews, — the Bishop and Judge — are wantonly- 
insulted by this person, and contemptuous speeches of his are 
reported concerning dead and living individuals, for whom he pro- 
fessed friendship, and from w^hom he had received substantial 
proofs of kindness. Heaven preserve me from such a friend as 
Mr. Alsop ! But I never could have admitted such a person to 
my friendship, nor, if I had, would he have any such traits of 
character to record. '^' ''^ ^ 

]^ow then to your narrative, or rather to mine ; referring to in- 
cidents which took place before Coleridge's and my own acquaint- 
ance with yourself ; by which you will perceive on what small 
points you were misinformed, and in what your memory has de- 
ceived you. 

In the summer of 1794, S. T. Coleridge and Ilucks came to 
Oxford, on their way into Wales on a pedestrian tour. Allen in- 
troduced them to me, and the scheme of Pantisocracy was intro- 
duced hy them ; talked of, by no means determined on. It was 
subsequently talked into shape by Burnet and myself, at the com- 
mencement of the long vacation. We separated from Coleridge 
and Hucks ; they making for Gloucester ; Burnet and I proceed- 
mg on foot to Bath. 

After some weeks, Coleridge returning from his tour, came to 
Bristol on his way, and stopped there. (I being there.) Then it 
was that we resolved on going to America, and S. T. C. and I 
walked into Somersetshire to see Burnet, and on that journey it 
was that we first saw Poole. Coleridge made his engagement 
with Miss Fricker, on our return from this journey, at my moth- 
er's house in Bath ; — not a little to my astonishment, for he had 
talked of being deeply in love with a certain Mary Evans. I had 
been previously engaged to hei sister, my poor Edith ! — whom it 
would make your heart ache to see at this time ! 

We remained at Bristol till the close of the vacation ; several 
weeks. During that time w^e again talked of America. The 
funds were to be what each could raise. Coleridge, by his pro- 
jected work, ' Specimens of Modern Latin Poems,' for which he 
had printed proposals, and obtained a respectable list of Cam- 
bridge subscribers, before I knew him : I by ' Joan of Arc/ and 
what else I might publish. I had no rich relations, except one, 



300 REMINISCENCES 0€ 



my uncle, John Southey, of Taunton, who took no notice of his 
brother's family ; nor any other expectation. He hoped to find 
companions with money. 

Coleridge returned to Cambridge, and then published 'The 
Fall of Robespierre ;' while Lovell (who had married one of the 
Miss Frickers) and I, published a thin volume of poems at Bath„. 
My first transaction with you was for ' Joan of Arc/ and this' 
was before Colerido:e's arrival at Bristol, and soon after Lovell had 
introduced me to you. Coleridge did not come back again to 
Bristol till January 1795, nor would he I believe have come-back 
at all, if I had not gone to London to look for him, for having 
got there from Cambridge at the beginning of winter, there he 
remained without writing either to Miss Fricker or myself. 

At last I wrote to Favell (a Christ's Hospital boy, whose name 
I knew as one of his friends, and whom he had set down as one 
of our companions) to inquire concerning him, and learnt in reply, 
that S. T. Coleridge was at ' The Cat and Salutation,' in ISTewgate 
Street."* Thither I wrote. He ansAvered my letter, and said, 
that on such a day he should set off for Bath by the waggon, 
Lovell and I walked from Bath to meet him. Near Marlborough 
we met wdth the appointed waggon ; but no S. T. Coleridge wat 
therein/ A little w^hile afterwards, I went to London, and not 
finding him at ' The Cat and Salutation,' called at Christ's Hos- 
pital, and was conducted by Favell to ' The Angel Inn, Butcher 
Hall street,' whither Coleridge had shifted his quarters. I brought 
him then to Bath, and in a few days to Bristol. 

In the intermediate time between his leaving Bristol, and re- 
turning to it, the difficulties of getting to America became more 
and more apparent. Wynne wrote to press upon me the expedi- 
ence of trying our scheme of Pantisocracy in Wales, knowing how 
impracticable it would be anywhere ; knowing also, that there was 
no hope of convincing me of its impracticability, o.t that time. 
In our former plan we w^ere all agreed, and expected that what 
fhe earth failed to produce for us, the pen would supply. Such 

* When Coleridge dwelt at the ' Cat and Salutation,' in Newgate Street, 
and talked of leaving it, his conversation had brought so many customers to 
the house, that the landlord offered him free-quarters if he would only stay 
and continue to talk. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 301 



were our views in January 1^795 ; when S. T. Coleridge gave his 
first and second lectures in the Corn Market, and his third in a 
vacant house in Castle Green. These were followed by my lec- 
tures, and you know the course of our lives till the October fol- 
lowing, when we parted. 

By that time I had seen that no dependence could be placed on 
Coleridge. ISTo difference took place between us when I commu- 
nicated to him my intention of going with my uncle to Lisbon, 
por even a remonstrance on his part ; nor had I the slightest sus- 
picion that he intended to quarrel with me, till 's insolence 

made it apparent ; and I then learnt from Mrs. Morgan (poor 
John Morgan's mother) in what manner he w^as speaking of 
me. This was in October. From that time to my departure 
for Lisbon you know my history. Lovell did not die till six 
months afterward. The ' Watchman' was not projected till I was 
on my way to Lisbon. 

Poor Burnet's History would require a letter of itself. He be- 
came deranged on one point, which was that of hatred to me, 
whom ]ie accused of having jealously endeavored to suppress his 
talents ! This lasted about six months in the year 1802, and it 
returned again in the last year of his life. The scheme of Panti- 
socracy proved his ruin ; but he was twice placed in situations 
where he was well provided for. I had the greatest regard 
for him, and would have done, and indeed, as far as was in 
my power, did my utmost to serve him. God bless you, my dear 
0^ friend, 

Yours most affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

*' Keswick, 14 April, 1836. 
My dear Cottle, 

If you are drawing up your 'Recollections of Coleridge,' for 
separate publication, you are most welcome to insert anything of 
mine which you might think proper; but it is my wish that 
nothing of mine may go into the hands of any person concerned in 
bringing forward Coleridge's MSS. 

I know that Coleridge, at different times of his life, never let 
pass an opportunity of speaking ill of me. Both Wordsworth and 



302 REMINISCENCES OF 

myself have often lamented the exposure of dupUcity which must 
result from the publication of his letters, and by what he has de- 
livered by word of mouth to the worshippers by whom he was 
always surrounded. To Wordsworth and to me, it matters little. 
Colerido'e received from us such substantial services as few men 
have received from those whose friendship they had forfeited. 
This indeed was not the case with Wordsworth, as it was with 
me, for he knew not in what manner Coleridge had latterly spoken 
of him. But I continued all possible offices of kindness to his 
children, long after I regarded his own conduct with that utter 
disapprobation which alone it can call forth from all who had any 
sense of duty and moraL^bligation. 

Poole, '^ from whom I had a letter by the same post with yours, 
thinks, from what you have said concerning Coleridge's habit of 
taking opium, that it would operate less to deter others from the 
practice, than it would lead them to flatter themselves in indulging 
in it, by the example of so great a man. That there is some prob- 
ability in this I happen to know from the effect of Mr. De Quin- 
cey's book ; one who had never taken a drop of opium before, but 
took so large a dose, for the sake of experiencing the sensations 
which had been described, that a very little addition to the dose 
might have proved fatal. There, however, the mischief ended, for 
he never repeated the experiment. But I apprehend if you send 
what you have written about Coleridge and opium, it will not be 
made use of, and that Coleridge's biographer will seek to find ex- 
cuses for his abuse of that drug. Indeed, in Mr. Alsop's book, it 
is affirmed that the state of his heart, and other appearances in 
his chest, showed the habit to have been brought on by the pres- 
sure of disease in tliose parts : — the more likely inference is, that 
the excess brought on the disease. 

I am much pleased with your * Predictions.'' Those who will 
not be convinced by such scriptural proofs, if they pretend to ad- 
mit any authority in the Scriptures, would not, though one rose 
from the dead. 

* Mr. Poole, who requested it as a favor, came all the way from Stowey to 
peruse my MS. " Recollections of Coleridge," and who I have good reason 
to believe, without any unkind intention, communicated a report to C." 
relations. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 303 

God bless you, my dear old friend. Whenever I can take a 
journey, I will, if you are living, come to Bedminster. There is 
no other place in the world which I remember with such feelings 
as that villagfe."^ 

Believe me always yours most affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

In answer to an invitation, Mr. Southey thus replied. 

'^Keswick, August 16, 1836. 
My dear Cottle, 

* ^ ^ ^ Be assured, whenever it may seem 
fitting for me to take so long a journey, I shall come to you with 
as cordial a feeling of unchanged and unabated friendship as that 
with which you I know will receive me. It is very much my wish 
to do so, to show Cuthbert my son (who will accompany me) the 
scenes of my boyhood and youth, and the few friends who are left 
to me in the West of England. There is an urgent reason why I 
should go to London before the last volume of Cowper is brought 
forth, if domestic circumstances can be so arranged as to admit 
of this, and I would fain hope it may be ; I shall then certainly 
proceed to the west. 

Longman has determined to print my poetical works in ten 
monthly parts, and I have to prepare accordingly for the press. 
No one will take more interest than yourself in this arrangement. 
I have much to correct, much to alter, and not a little to add ; 
among other things, a general preface, tracing the circumstances 
which contributed to determine my course as a poet. 

I can say nothing which would give you pleasure to hear on a 
subjectf which concerns me so nearly. We have continued va- 

* Mr. Southey 's grandfather lived in the old manor-house at Bedminster, 
where in his younger days, Mr. S. passed many of his happiest hours. When 
spending a week with me at Bedminster, within a year of the date of tliis 
letter, he went to the old house, and requested permission of the strangers 
who inhabited his grandfother's mansion, to walk round the garden, and re- 
new his acquaintance with the old trees which he used to climb nearly sixty 
years before ; a request which was readily granted. The revival of such in- 
teresting associations, had they occurred at a former period, would doubtless 
have produced some exquisite poetical record. 

t The illness of Mrs. Edith Southey. 



304 REMINISCENCES OF 

nations of better and worse, with no tendency to amendment; 
and according to all human foresight, no hope of recovery. We 
entertain no guests, and admit no company whom it is possible to 
exclude. God bless you, my dear old friend, and believe' me al- 
ways Yours most affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

I now refer to an occurrence that gave me some uneasiness. It 
appears, from the following letter, that the family of Mr. Cole- 
ridge felt uneasy at learning tliat I intended to disclose to the 
public, the full extent of Mr. C.'s subjection to opium. 

"September 30, 1836. 
My dear Cottle, 

* * ^ Coleridge's relations are uneasy at what they 
hear of your intention to publish an account of him. Yesterday 
I learnt personally, from an influential member of the family, what 
their objections particularly were. He specified as points on 
which they were uncomfortable, Coleridge's own letter, or letters, 
respecting opium, and the circumstances of a gift of three hundred 
pounds from Mr. De Quincey. 

The truth is, that Coleridge's relations are placed in a most un- 
comfortable position. They cannot say that any one of them- 
selves will bring out a full and authentic account of C. because 
they knoAV how much there is, which all who have any regard for 
Coleridge's memory, would wish to be buried with him. But we 
will talk over the subject when we meet. Meantime I have as- 
sured that your feelings toward Coleridge are, what they 

have ever been, friendly in the highest degree. 

How like a dream does the past appear ! through the last years 
of my life more than any other part. All hope of recovery, or 
even of amendment, is over ! In all reason I am convinced of 
this ; and yet at times when Edith speaks and looks like herself, 
I am almost ready to look for what, if it occurred, would be a 
miracle. It is quite necessary that I should he weaned from this 
constant object of solicitude ; so far at least as to refresh myself, 
and recruit for another period of confinement. Like all other 
duties, it brings with it its reward ; and when I consider with 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEV. 305 

how many mercies this affliction has been tempered, I have cause 
indeed to be thankful. Believe me always, my dear Cottle, 
Yours most affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

A few days after, I received the following letter from Mr. 
Southey : — 

"Keswick, Oct. 10, 1836. 
My dear Cottle, 

I have long foreseen that poor S. T. Coleridge would leave a 
large inheritance of uneasiness to his surviving friends, and those 
who w^ere the most nearly connected with him. 

The Head of the Family being in these parts, I have heard 
more concerning the affair of your Memoir, as it respects the feel- 
ings of that family, than I should otherwise. He is a thoroughly 
good man ; mild, unassuming, amiable and judicious beyond most 
men. This matter interests him greatly, on account of his brother 
having married Mr. S. T. Coleridge's daughter. Indeed it is in 

consequence of a letter from the that I am now writing. 

He cared nothing when a gross and wanton insult was offered to 
him in that ^ ''^ ^'' ''' book, but on this occasion 

he is much concerned. 

A few omissions (one letter in particular, respecting the habit 
of taking opium) would spare them great pain, and leave your 
book little the poorer, rich as your materials are. Wilfully I am 
sure you never gave pain to any human being, nor any living 
creature. '''' '^ You are not like a witness who is re- 

quired to tell all which he knovrs. In those cases the moral law 
requires us to tell nothing but the truth, but does not demand the 
whole truth, unless the suppression of any part of it should be 
tantamount to falsehood. 

Of this indeed you are fully aware. You have enough to tell 
that is harmless as well as interesting, and not only harmless, but 
valuable and instructive, and that ouyht to be told, and which no 
one but yourself can tell. Strike out only ^ ^' I will 

read over the Memoir when we meet. You have abundance of 
materials ; and many things may come to mind which may supply 



306 REMINISCENCES OF 



the place of what should be Vvithdrawn. You will understand my 
motive in pressing this iqjon you. God bless you, my dear old 
friend. 

Yours most affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

As I determined to publish nothing relating to Mr. Coleridge, 
without Mr. Southey's sanction, my first impression, on the receipt 
of this letter, \vas, wholly to withdraw the work ; — but as I ex- 
pected soon to see Mr. S., I resolved to suspend my determination 
till he had an opportunity of inspecting the MS. once more, when 
liis specific objections might be better understood. 

Tv/o or three wrecks after receiving the former letter, Mr. S. 
addressed to me the follov;ing hasty line : — 

'' Friday, Xov. 1, 1836, Pipe Haj^es. 
My dear Cottle, 

Here we are, six miles fr*om Birmingham. Our places are taken 
for Thursday morning, in the coach which starts from the Hen 
and Chickens, Birmino-ham. To what Inn it comes in Bristol, 1 
forgot to ask. So, if on our arrival w^e do not find your vehicle, 
" we shall pack ourselves and our luggage, in a hackney-coach, 
without delay, and drive to Carlton Villa. So on Thursday 
evening I hope to see you. 

God bless you, my dear old friend, 

Robert Southey." 
P. S. *' I saw Wordsvrorth on my way, and mentioned your 
wdsh about engraving his portrait. He referred it entirely to my 
opinion of its likeness.'"*^ 

On his arrival, Mr. Southey deliberately re-read the whole of 
my MS., and objected alone to a few trifles, which were expunged. 
He read the series of opium letters with a mind evidently affected, 
but no part did he interdict. He now arrived at, and read the 
solemn Testamentary Letter, (p. 292). I said to him, "Southey, 

* Mr. S. deemed it an admirable likeness of Mr. W. as he appeared in 
younger life ; and said that it bore at the present time, a striking resemblance 
to Mr. W.'s son. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 307 

shall I, or shall I not, omit this letter ?" He paused for a few mo- 
ments, and then distinctly said : '' You must print it. It is your 
authority for what you have done." He then continued, " You 
must print it also, for the sake of faithful biography, and for the 
beneficial effect this, and the other opium letters must inevitably 
produce." This unqualified approval determined me to publish 
the whole of the opium letters. 

I here give the next letter I received from Mr. Southey, when 
he had returned home, after his long excursion to Bristol, and the 
West of England, by which it will be perceived that no after in- 
clination existed in Mr. S.'s mind to alter the opinion he had 
given. 

*^ Keswick, May 9, 1837. 
My dear Cottle, 

It is scarcely possible that a day should pass, in which some 
circumstance, some object^ or traia of recollection, does not bring 
you to my mind. You may suppose, then, how much I thought 
of you during the employment I recently got through, of cor- 
recting ' Joan of Arc for the last time. ^ ^' '^ 

Our journey, after we left your comfortable house, was as pros- 
perous as it could be* at that time of the year. We have reason, 
indeed, to be thankful, that travelling so many hundred miles, 
in all sorts of ways, and over all kinds of roads, we met with no 
mischief of any kind ; nor any difficulties greater than what 
served for matter of amusement. During the great hurricane we 
were at Dav/lish, in a house on the beach, from which we saw the 
full effect of its force on the sea. 

The G^reat snow-storm caus^ht us at Tavistock, and rendered it 
impossible for us to make our intended excursion on Dartmoor. 
Cuthbert and I parted company at my friend. Miss Caroline 
Bowles's, near Lymington, he going to his brother-in-law, (at 
Terring, where he is preparing for the University,) I, the next 
day, to London. I joined him again at Terring, three weeks 
afterward ; and, after a week, made the best of my w^ay home. 

The objects of my journey were fully accomplished. Cuth- 
bert has seen most of the spots which I desired to show him, and 
has been introduced to the few old friends whom I have left in 
the West of England. I had much pleasure, but not umningled 



308 REMINISCENCES OF 



with pain, in visiting many places which brought back vividly the 
remembrance of former days ; but to Cuthbert all was pure 
pleasure. 

God bless you, my dear old friend. 

Yours affectionately, 

Robert Southey." 

In a previous letter Mr. Southey had said in a contemplative 
mood, — 

^ * ^' '' Little progress is made in my ' Life of 

George Fox,' but considerable preparation. This, and some 
sketches of Monastic history, will probably complete the ecclesi- 
astical portion of my labors. Alas ! I have undertaken more than 
there is any reasonable likelihood of completing. My head will 
soon be white, and I feel a disposition to take more thought for the 
morrow than I was wont to do ; not as if distrusting Providence, 
which has hitherto supported me, but. my own poioers of exertion !^^ 

I pass over the intervening period between this and my old 
friend's mental affliction, as more properly belonging to Mr. 
Southey 's regular biographer, but this much I may observe. 

Having heard, with the deepest concern, that Mr. Southey 's 
mind was affected, I addressed a kind letter to him, to inquire 
after his health, and requested only one line from him, to relieve 
my anxiety, if only the signing of his name. I received a letter 
in reply, from his kindest friend, of which the following is an ex- . 
tract. 

^i Hi % % a With deep and affectionate interest he read 
and re-read your letter, and many times in the course of the evening 
he received it I observed tears in his eyes. ' I will write to Cottle,' 
he has often repeated since, but alas ! the purpose remains unful- 
filled, and from me, dear sir, you must receive the explanation of 
his silence." ^ ^ * 

On communicating this melancholy intelligence to my old and 
valued friend, Mr. Foster, he thus replied. 



1 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 309 

*' My dear Sir, 

I am obliged for your kind note, and the letter, which I here 
return. I can well believe that you must feel it a mournful com- 
munication. A friend in early life ; a friend ever since ; a man 
highly, and in considerable part, meritoriously conspicuous in the 
literature of the age ; and now at length prostrated, and on the 
borders of the grave ; for there can be no doubt the bodily catas- 
trophe will soon follow the mental one. It is a most wonderful 
career that he has run in literary achievement, and it is striking to 
see such a man disabled at last, even to write a letter to an old 
friend ! It is interesting to myself, as it must be to every one ac- 
customed to contemplate the labors and productions of mind, to 
see such a spirit finally resigning its favorite occupations, and re- 
tiring from its fame !" * '^ 

Mr. Foster, referring to the death of his friends, thus afterwards 
wrote. 

"Stapleton, June 22, 1842. 
My dear Sir, 

* ^ * How our old circle is narrowing around us. 
Going back just three years and a-half, I was recounting yester- 
day eleven persons departed within that space of time ; three- 
fourths of those who had formed, till then, the list of my old 
friends and acquaintance, leaving just a few, how few, of those 
who are my coevals, or approaching to that standard. You are 
within one, and he at a great distance, whom I may never see 
again, the oldest in both senses, of the almost solitary remainder. 
Our day is not far off. Oh, may we be prepared to welcome its 
arrival." ^ ^ ^' 

The following is an extract from another letter of Mr. Foster's 
containing the same train of thought. 

" My dear Sir, 

* ^ ^ My thoughts are often pensively turning on 
the enumeration of those I may call my coevals ; and many of 
them of long acquaintance who have been called away within 



310 REMINISCENCES OP 

tliese few years. An old, and much valued friend at Worcester, 
Mr. Stokes, from whose funeral I returned little more than in time 
to attend that of our estimable friend, your brother-in-law, Mr. 
Hare ; since then, your excellent sister Mary. Mr. Coles, of 
Bourton, known and esteemed almost forty years. Mr. Adding- 
ton. Lately in Scotland, the worthy Mr. Dove ; and now last of 
all, so unexpectedly, Mr. Roberts. I dined with him at Mr. 
Wade's, perhaps not more than ten days before his death. * * 
With friendly regards, I remain, my dear sir. 

Most truly yours, 

John Foster.'* 

A letter of mine to Mr. Foster, referring chiefly to Mr. Southey, 
may not inappropriately be here introduced. 

''July 6, 1842. 
To the Rev. John Foster, 

My dear Sir, — I sympathize with you on the comparatively 
recent loss of so large a proportion of your early friends and 
acquaintance. I can, to a great extent, participate in similar 
feelings. Yourself and Mr. Wordsvf orth are the only two sur* 
vivors, of all with whom in early life I joined in familiar inter- 
course, for poor dear Southey since I last wrote to you concern- 
ing him, is worse than dead. Mr. W., who dined with me last 
summer, told me that he does not now know his own children. He 
said, he had a short time previously called upon him, and he 
fancied that a slight glimpse of remembrance crossed his mind, 
when, in a moment, he silently passed to his library, and taking 
down a book, ( from mechanical habit,) turned over the pages, 
without reading, or the power of reading. Pardon prolixity, where 
the heart is so full. Surely the world does not present a more 
melancholy, or a more humiliating sight, than the prostration of 
so noble a mind as that of my old and highly-prized friend, Robert 
Southey. When I first knew him, he had all that Westminster 
and Oxford could give him. He was, as the Mores said, to whom 
I had introduced him, " brimful of literature :" decisive and en- 
thusiastic in all liis sentiments, and impetuous in all his feelings, 
whether of approval or dislike. I never knew one more uncom^ 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHED. 311 



promising in what lie believed either to be right, or wrono- ; 
thereby marking the integrity of his mind, which ever shrunk 
from the most distant approximation to duplicity or meanness. 

This disposition manifested itself almost in infancy, for his 
mother, an acute and very worthy woman, told me, in the year 
1798, that whenever any mischief or accident occurred amongst 
the children, which some might v/ish to conceal, she always ap- 
plied to Robert, who never hesitated, or deviated from the truth, 
though he himself might have been implicated. And in after 
life, whatever sentiments he avowed, none who knew the confirmed 
fidelity of his mind, could possibly doubt that they were the 
genuine dictates of his heart. 

There was in Southey, alas ! his sun is set ! — I must write in 
the third person ! — one other quality which commands admiration ; 
an habitual delicacy in his conversation, evidencing that cheer- 
fulness and wit might exist vrithout ribaldry, grossness, or pro- 
fanation. He neither violated decorum himself, nor tolerated it 
in others. I have been present when a trespasser of the looser 
class, has received a rebuke, I might say a castigation, well de- 
served, and not readily forgotten. His abhorrence also of injus- 
tice, or unworthy conduct, in its diversified shapes, had all the 
decision of a Roman censor ; while this apparent austerity was 
associated, Avhen in the society he liked, with so bland and playful 
a spirit, that it abolished all constraint, and rendered him one of 
the most agreeable, as well as the most intelligent of companions. 

It must occasionally have been exemplified in your experience, 
that some writers who have acquired a transient popularity, per- 
chance more from adventitious causes, than sterling merit, appear 
at once to occupy an increased space, and fancy that he who fills 
his own field of vision, occupies the s^me space in the view of 
others. This disposition will almost invariably be found in those 
who most readily depreciate those whom they cannot excel ; as if 
every concession to the merits of another subtracted from their 
own claims. Southey was eminently exempt from this little 
feeling. He heartily- encouraged genius, wherever it was dis- 
coverable ; whether, ' with all appliances,' the jewel shone forth 
from academic bowers, or whether the gem was incrusted with 



312 REMINISCENCES OF 



4 

irnt P 



extraneous matter, and required the toil of polishing ; indiffemt 
to him, it met with the encouraging smile, and the fostering care. 

It may be truly said, Mr. Southey exacted nothing, and conse- 
quently his excellencies were the more readily allowed ; and this 
merit was the greater, since, as Mr. Coleridge remarked, ' he had 
written on so many subjects, and so well on all.' Although his 
company was sought by men of the first rank and talent, from 
whom he always received that acknowledgment, if not deference, 
which is due to great attainments and indisputable genius, yet 
such honors excited no plebeian pride. It produced none of that 
morbid inflation, which wherever found, instinctively excites a re- 
pulsive feeling. It was this unassuming air, this suavity of 
deportment, which so attached Southey to his friends, and gave 
such permanence to their regard. 

It seems almost invidious to single out one distinguishing qual- 
ity in his mind, when so many deserve notice, but I have often 
been struck with the quickness of his perception ; the prompti- 
tude with which he discovered whatever was good or bad in com- 
position, either in prose or verse. When reading the production 
of another, the tones of his voice became a merit- thermometer, a 
sort of Molian-liar'p'test ; in the flat parts his voice was unimpas- 
sioned, but if the gust of genius swept over the wires, his tones 
rose in intensity, till his own energy of feeling and expression 
kindled in others a sympathetic impulse, which the dull were 
forced to feel, whilst his animated recitations threw fresh meaning 
into the minds of the more discerning. 

What an emblem of human instability ! The idea of Robert 
Southey's altered state can hardly force itself on my imagination. 
The image of one lately in full vigor, who appeared, but as yes- 
terday, all thought and animation, whose mind exhibited a sort of 
rocky firmness, and seemed made almost for perpetuity ; I say it 
is hard to conceive of faculties so strong and richly matured, re- 
duced now even to imbecility ! The image of death I could with- 
stand, for it is the lot of mortals, but the spectacle of such a mind 
associated with living extinction, appears in'congruous, and to ex- 
ceed the power of possible combination. Those who witnessed 
the progressive advances of this mournful condition were prepared 
for the event by successive changes, but with my anterior impres- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 313 

sions, if in his present state I were to be abruptly presented to 
Robert Southey, and met the vacant and cold glance of indiffer- 
ence, the concussion to my feelings would so overwhelm, that 
— merciful indeed would be the power which shielded me from a 
like calamity. 

Southey spent a week with me, four or five years ago, when he 
manifested the same kind and cordial behavior, which he had 
uniformly displayed for nearly half a century, and which had 
never during that long period been interrupted for a moment. 
Nor was steadfastness in friendship one of his least excellencies. 
From the kindliness of his spirit, he excited an affectionate esteem 
in his friends, which they well knew no capriciousness on his part 
would interrupt : to which, it might be added, his mind wms well 
balanced, presenting no unfavorable eccentricities, and but few de- 
mands for the exercise of charity. Justly also, may it be affirmed, 
that he was distinguished for the exemplary discharge of all the 
social and relative virtues ; disinterestedly generous, and scrupu- 
lously conscientious, presenting in his general deportment, courte- 
ousness without serv-ility, and dignity without pride. There was 
in him so much kindliness and sincerity, so much of upright pur- 
pose, and generous feeling, that the belief is forced on the mind, 
that, through the whole range of biographical annals, few men, 
endowed with the higher order of intellect, have possessed more 
qualities commanding esteem than Robert Southey ; who so hap- 
pily blended the great with the amiable, or whose memory will 
become more permanently fragrant to the lovers of genius, or the 
friends of virtue. Nor would Southey receive a fair measure of 
justice by any display of personal worth, without noticing the 
application of his talents. His multifarious writings, whilst they 
embody such varied excellence, display wherever the exhibition 
was demanded, or admissible, a moral grandeur, and reverence 
of religion, which indirectly reflects on some, less prodigally en- 
dowed, who do, and have, corrupted by their prose, or dissemi- 
nated their pollutions through the sacred, but desecrated medium 
of song. 

It was always a luxury with Southey to talk of old times, pla- 
ces, and persons ; and Bristol, with its vicinities, he thought the 
most beautiful city he had ever seen. When a boy he was almost 
^ 14 



314 REMINISCENCES OF 



"mI 



a resident among St. Vincent's Rocks, and Leigh Woods, 
view, from the Coronation Road, of the Ilotwells, with Clifton, 
and its triple crescents, he thought surpassed any view of the kind 
in Europe. He loved also to extol his own mountain scenery, and, 
at his last visit, upbraided me for not paying him a visit at Greta 
Hall, where, he said, he would have shown me the glories of the 
district, and also have given me a sail on the lake, in his own boat, 
* The Royal Noah.' After dv,elling on his entrancing water- 
scenes, and misty eminences, he vv^anted much, he said, to show 
me his library, which at that time consisted of fourteen thousand 
volumes, which he had been accumulating all his life, from the 
rare catalogues of all nations : but still, he remarked, he had a 
list of* five hundred other volumes to obtain, and after possessing 
these, he said, he should be satisfied. Alas ! he little knew, how 
soon the whole would appear to him — less than the herbage of 
the desert ! 

At this time, Mr. S. mentioned a trifling occurrence, arising out 
of what happened to be the nature of our conversation, although 
it is hardly worth naming to you, who so lightly esteem human 
honors. He said, some years before, when he chanced to be in 
London, he accepted an invitation to dine with the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, but, subsequently, he received an invitation for the 
same day, from the Duchess of Kent, to dine at Kensington 
Palace ; and as invitations from Royalty supersede all others, he 
sent an apology to the Archbishop, and dined with more Lords 
and Ladies than he could remember. At the conclusion of the 
repast, before the Ladies retired, she v/ho was destined to receive 
homage, on proper occasions, had learnt to pay respect, for the 
young Princess (our present gracious Queen Victoria) came up to 
him, and courtesying, very prettily said, ' Mr. Southey, I thank you 
for the pleasure I have received in reading your Life of Lord 
Nelson. ' 

I must mention one other trait in Southey, which did him pecul- 
iar honor ; I allude to the readiness with which he alluded to any 
little acts of kindness which he might have received from any of 
his friends, in past years. To the discredit of human nature, there 
is in general a laborious endeavor to bury all such remembrances 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 315 

in the waters of Lethe : Southey's mind was formed on a differ- 
ent model. 

The tear which dims my eye, attests the affection which I still 
bear to poor dear Southey. Few knew him better than myself, 
or more highly estimated the fine qualities of his head and heart ; 
and still fewer can be oppressed with deeper commiseration for 
his present forlorn and hopeless condition. ^' * ^ -^j 
dear sir. 

Most truly yours, 

Rey. John Foster. Joseph Cottle." 

I HAyE now to present the reader with a series of letters from 
Mr. Coleridge to the late Josiah and Thomas Wedgewood, Esqrs. ; 
obligingly communicated to me by Francis Wedgewood, Esq., of 
Etruria, son of Mr. Josiah Wedgewood. 

"May 21st, ll99, Gottingen. 
My dear Sir, 

I have lying by my side six huge letters, with your name on 
each of them, and all, excepting one, have been written for these 
three months. About this time Mr. Hamilton, by whom I send 
this and the little parcel for my wife, was, as it were, setting off 
for England ; and I seized the opportunity of sending them by 
him, as without any mock-modesty I really thought that the ex- 
pense of the postage to me and to you would be more than their 
worth. Day after day, and week after week, was Hamilton go- 
ing, and still delayed. And now that it is absolutely settled that 
he goes to-morrow, it is likewise absolutely settled that I shall go 
this day three weeks, and I have therefore sent only this and the 
picture by him, but the letters I will now take myself, for I should 
not like them to be lost, as they comprise the only subject on 
which I have had an opportunity of making myself thoroughly 
informed, and if I carry them myself, I can carry them without 
danger of their being seized at Yarmouth, as all my letters were, 

yours to excepted, which were, luckily, not sealed. Before 

I left England, I had read the book of which you speak. I must 
confess that it appeared to me exceedingly illogical. Godwin's 
and Condorcet's extravagancies were not worth confuting ; and 



316 REMINISCENCES OF 



yet I thought that the Essay on ' Population* had not confuted 
them. Professor Wallace, Derham, and a number of German 
statistic, and physico-theological writers had taken the same 
ground, namely, that population increases in a geometrical, but 
the accessional nutriment only in arithmetical ratio — and that vice 
and misery, the natural consequences of this order of things, were 
intended by Providence as the counterpoise. I have here no 
means of procuring so obscure a book, as Rudgard's ; but to the 
best of my recollection, at the time that the Fifth Monarchy en- 
thusiasts created so great a sensation in England, under the Pro- 
tectorate, and the beginning of Charles the Second's reign, Rud- 
gard, or Rutgard (I am not positive even of the name) wrote an 
Essay to the same purpose, in which he asserted, that if war, 
pestilence, vice, and poverty, were wholly removed, the world 
could not exist two hundred years, &c. Seiffmilts, in his great 
work concerning the divine order and regularity in the destiny of 
the human race, has a chapter entitled a confutation of this idea ; 
I read it with great eagerness, and found therein that this idea 
militated against the glory and goodness of God, and must there- 
fore be false, — but further confutation found I none ! — This book 
of Seiffmilts has a prodigious character throughout Germany ; 
and never methinks did a work less deserve it. It is in three 
huge octavos, and wholly on the general laAvs that regulate the 
population of the human species — but is throughout most un- 
philosophical, and the tables, which he has collected with great 
industry, prove nothing. My objections to the Essay on Popula- 
tion you will find in my sixth letter at large — but do not, my dear 
sir, suppose that because unconvinced by this essay, I am there- 
fore convinced of the contrary. No, God knows, I am sufficiently 
sceptical, and in truth more than sceptical, concerning the possi- 
bility of universal plenty and wisdom ; but my doubts rest on 
other grounds. I had some conversation with you before I left 
England, on this subject ; and from that time I had purposed to 
myself to examine as thoroughly as it was possible for me, the 
important question — Is the march of the human race progres- 
sive, or in cycles ? But more of this when we meet. 

What have I done in Germany ? I have learned the language, 
both high and low German, I can read both, and speak the former 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 317 

SO fluently, that it must be a fortune for a German to be in my 
company, that is, I have words enough and phrases enough, and 
I arrange them tolerably ; but my pronunciation is hideous. 
2ndly, I can read the oldest German, the Frankish and the 
Swabian. 3rdly, I have attended the lectures on Physiology, 
Anatomy, and Natural History, with regularity, and have endeav- 
ored to understand these subjects. 4thly, I have read and made 
collections for a history of the ' Belles Lettres,' in Germany, be- 
fore the time of Lessing : and 5thly, very large collections for a 
' Life of Lessing ;' to which I was led by the miserably bad and 
unsatisfactory biographies that have been hitherto given, and by 
my personal acquaintance with two of Lessing's friends. Soon 
after I came into Germany, I made up my mind fully not to pub- 
lish anything concerning my travels, as people call them ; yet I 
soon perceived that with all possible economy, my expenses would 
be greater than I could justify, unless I did something that w^ould 
to a moral certainty repay them. I chose the * Life of Lessing' 
for the reasons above assigned, and because it Avould give me an 
opportunity of conveying under a better name than my own ever 
will be, opinions which I deem of the highest importance. Ac- 
cordingly, my main business at Gottingen, has been to read all 
the numerous controversies in which Lessing was engaged, and 
the works of all those German poets before the time of Lessing, 
which I could not afford to buy. For these last four months, with 
the exception of last week, in which I visited the Hartz, I have 
worked harder than I trust in God Almighty, I shall ever have 
occasion to work again : this endless transcription is such a body- 
and-soul-wearying purgatory. ' I shall have bought thirty pounds' 
worth of books, chiefly metaphysics, and with a view to the one 
work, to which I hope to dedicate in silence, the prime of my 
life ; but I believe and indeed doubt not, that before Christmas I 
shall have repaid myself. 

I never, to the best of my recollection, felt the fear of death 
but once ; that was yesterday when I delivered the picture to 
Hamilton. I felt, and shivered as I felt it, that I should not like 
to die by land or water before I see my wife and the little one ; 
that I hope yet remains to me. But it was an idle sort of feel- 
mg, and I sffould not like to have it again. Poole half men- 



318 REMINISCENCES OF 



tioned, in a hasty way, a circumstance that depressed my spirits 
for many days : — that you and Thomas were on the point of set- 
thng near Stowey, but had abandoned it. ' God Almighty ! 
wliat a dream of happiness it held out to me !' writes Poole. I 
felt disappointment without having had hope. 

In about a month I hope to see \you. Till then may heaven 
bless and preserve us ! Believe me, my dear sir, with every 
feeling of love, esteem, and gratitude. 

Your affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

Josiah Wedge wood, Esq." 

*' 21, Buckingham Street, Strand, January, 1800. 
My dear Sir, 

I am sitting by a fire, in a rug great- coat. Your room is 
doubtless to a greater degree air-tight than mine, or your notions 
of Tartarus would veer round to the Grecnlander's creed. It is 
most barbarously cold, and you, I fear, can shield yourself from 
it only by perpetual imprisonment. If any place in the southern 
climates were in a state of real quiet, and likely to continue sOj 
should you feel no inclination to migrate ? Poor Southey, from 
over great industry, as I suspect, the industry too of solitary 
composition, has reduced himself to a terrible state of weakness, 
and is determined to leave this country as soon as he has finished 
the poem on which he is now employed. 'Tis a melancholy thing 
that so young a man, and one whose life has ever been so simple 
and self-denying, ^ * ^ ^ '* 

0, for a peace, and the south of France ! I could almost 
wish for a Bourbon king, if it were only that Sieyes and Buona- 
parte might finish their career in the old orthodox way of hang- 
ing. Thank God, / have ony health perfectly, and I am working 
hard ; yet the present state of human affairs presses on me for 
days^ together, so as to deprive me of all my cheerfulness. It is 
probable that a man's private and personal connections and inter- 
ests ought to be uppermost in his daily and hourly thoughts, and 
that the dedication of much hope and fear to subjects which are 
perhaps disproportionate to our facuTties and powers, is a disease. 
But I have had this disease so long, and my early education was 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 319 

so undomestic, that I know not Iioy/ to get rid of it ; or even to 
wish to get rid of it. Life v/ere so fiat a thing without enthusi- 
asm, that if for a moment it leaves me, I have a sort of stomach 
sensation attached to all my thoughts, like those vjhich succeed to 
the pleasitrahle operations of a dose of opium. 

Now I make up my mind to a sort of heroism in believing the 
progressiveness of all nature, during the present melancholy 
state of humanity, and on this subject / am now ivritinr/- ; and no 
work on which I ever employed myself makes me so happy while 
I am writing. 

I shall remain in London till April. The expenses of my last 
year made it necessary for me to exert my industry, and manv 
other good ends are ansv/ered at the same time. Where I next 
settle I shall continue, and that must be in a state of retirement 
and rustication. It is therefore good for me to have a run of 
society, and that, various, and consisting of marked characters. 
Likevvise, by being obliged to v/rite without much elaboration, I 
shall greatly improve myself in naturalness and facility of style, 
and the particular subjects on which I write for money are nearly 
connected with my future schemes. My mornings I give to com- 
pilations which I am sure cannot be wholly useless, and for 
Vv'hich, by the beginning of April I shall have earned nearly 
£150. My evenings to the Theatres, as I am to conduct a sort 
of Dramaterye or series of Essays on the Drama, both its gen- 
eral principles, and likewise in reference to the present state of 
the English Theatres. This I shall publish in the * Morning 
Post.' My attendance on the theatres costs me nothing, and 
Stuart, the Editor, covers my expenses in London. Tv/o morn- 
ings, and one whole day, I dedicate to these Essays on the pos- 
sible progressiveness of man, and on the principles of population. 
In April I retire to my greater works, — ' The Life of Lessing.' 
My German chests are arrived, but I have them not yet, but ex- 
pect them from Stowey daily ; when they come I shall send a 
letter. 

I have seen a good deal of Godwin, who has just published a 
Novel. I like him for thinking so well of Davy. He talks of 
him everywhere as the most extraordinary of human beings he had 
ever met with. I cannot sav that, for I know one whom I feel 



320 REMINISCENCES OF 

to be tlie superior, but I never met with so extraordinary a young 
man. I likewise have dined with Home Tooke. He is a clear- 
headed old man, as every man must needs be avIio attends to the 
real import of w^ords, but there is a sort of charlatanry in his 
manner that did not please me. He makes such a mystery out 
of plain and palpable things, and never tells you anything with- 
out first exciting, and detaining your curiosity. But it were a 
bad heart that could not pardon worse faults than these in the 
author of ' The Diversions of Purley.' 

Believe me, my dear sir, with much affection. 

Yours, 
Thomas Wedgewood, Esq. S. T. Coleridge." 

21, Buckingham Street, Feb. 1800. 
*• My dear Sir, 

Your brother's health [Mr. Thomas Wedgewood] outweighs 
all other considerations. Beyond a doubt he has made him- 
self acquainted with the degree of heat which he is to experi- 
ence there [the West Indies.] The only objections that I see are 
so obvious, that it is idle in me to mention them : the total want 
of men wdth whose pursuits your brother can have a fellow 
feeling : the length and difficulty of the return, in case of a dis- 
appointment ; and the necessity of sea- voyages to almost every 
change of scenery. I will not think of the yellow fever ; that I 
hope is quite out of all probability. Believe me, my dear friend, 
I have some difficulty in suppressing all that is within me of 
affection and grief. God knows my heart, wherever your brother 
is, I shall follow him in spirit ; follow him with my thoughts and 
most affectionate wishes. 

I read your letter, and did as you desired me. is very 

cool to me. V/h ether I have still any of the leaven of the Citi- 
zen, and visionary abgut me — too much for his present zeal, or 
whether he is incapable of attending. ^^ % % hc 

As to his views, he is now gone to Cambridge to canvas for ^ Fel- 
lowship in Trinity Hall. Mackintosh has kindly written to Dr. 
Lawrence, who is very intimate with the Master, and he has other 
interest. He is also trying hard, and in expectation of a Com- 
missionership of Bankruptcy, and means to pursue the law with 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 321 



all ardor and steadiness. As to the state of his mind, it is that 
which it was and will be. God love him ! He has a most incur- 
able forehead. called on him and looking on his table, 

saw by accident a letter directed to himself. Said he, *Why 

what letter is this for me ? and from .' • Yes I 

have had it some time.' ' Why did you not give it me ? * Oh, 
it wants some explanation first. You must not read it now, for I 

can't give you the explanation now.' And , who you 

know is a right easy-natured man, has not been able to get his 
own letter from him to this hour ! Of his success at Cambridge, 
Caldwell is doubtful, or more than doubtful. ^ * ^ 

So much of . All that I know, and all I suspect that is 

to be known. A kind, gentlemanl}^, affectionate-hearted man, 
possessed of an absolute talent for industry. Would to God, he 
had never heard of Philosophy ! 

I have been three times to the House of Commons ; each time 
earlier than the former ; and each time hideously crowded. The 
two first days the debate was put off. Yesterday I went at a 
quarter before eight, and remained till three this morning, and 
then set writing and correcting*other men's writing till eiglH — a 
good twenty-four hours of unpleasant activity ! I have not felt 
mself sleepy yet. Pitt and Fox completely answered my pre- 
formed ideas of them. The elegance and higlf finish of Pitt's 
periods, e\^ in the most sudden replies, is curious, but that is all. 
He argues but so so, and does not reason at all. Nothing is re- 
memberable of what he says. Fox possesses all the full and over- 
flowing eloquence of a man of clear head, clear heart, and impet- 
uous feelings. He is to my mind a great orator ; all the rest that 
spoke vrere mere creatures. I could make a better speech my- 
self than any that I heard except Pitt and Fox. I reported that 
part of Pitt's which I have enclosed in brackets, not that I report 
ex-officio, but my curiosity having led me there, I did Stuart a 
ser\TLce by taking a few notes. 

I work from morning to night, but in a few weeks I shall have 
completed my purpose, and then adieu to London forever. We 
newspaper scribes are true galley-slaves. When the high winds 
of events blow loud and frequent then the sails are hoisted, or 
the ship drives on of itself. When all is calm and sunshine then 

14* 



322 REMINISCENCES OF 

to our oars. Yet it is not unflattering to a man's vanity to reflect 
that what he writes at twelve at night, will before twelve hours 
are over have perhaps, five or six thousand readers ! To trace a 
happy phrase, good image, or new argument, running through 
the town and sliding into all the papers. Few wine merchants 
can boast of creating more sensation. Then to hear a favorite and 
often-urged argument, repeated almost in your own particular 
phrases, in the House of Commons ; and quietly in the silent self- 
complacence of your own heart, chuckle over the plagiarism, as 
if you were monopolist of all good reasons. But seriously, con- 
sidering that I have newspapered it merely as means of subsist- 
ence, while I was doing other things, I have been very lucky. 
*The New Constitution ;' 'The Proposal for Peace ;' 'The Irish 
Union ;' &c. &c. ; they are important in themselves and excellent 
vehicles for general truths. I am not ashamed of Vv^hat I have 
written. 

I desired Poole to send you all the papers antecedent to your 
own ; I think you will like the different analyses of the French 
constitution. I have attended Mackintosh's lectures regularly ; 
he Ifeis so kind as to send me a ficket, and I have not failed to 
profit by it. 

I remain, with grateful and most affectionate esteem, 

* Your faithful Friend, 

S. T. (^.eridge. 

Josiah Wedge wood, Esq." 

"July 24, 1800. 
My dear Sir, 

I find your letter on my arrival at Grasmere, namely, dated on 
the 29th of June, since which time to the present, with the ex- 
ception of the last few days, I have been more imwell than I have 
ever been since I left school. For many daj^s I was forced to 
keep my bed, and when released from that incarceration, I 
suffered most grievously from a brace of swollen eyelids and a 
head into which, on the least agitation, the blood was felt as rush- 
ing in and flowing back again, like the raking of the tide on a 
coast of loose stones. However, thank God, I am now coming 
about again. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 323 

That Tom. receives such pleasure from natural scenery strikes 
me as it does you. The total incapability which I have found in 
myself to associate any but the most languid feelings, with the 
God-like objects which have surrounded me, and the nauseous 
efforts to impress my admiration into the service of nature, has 
given me a sympathy with his former state of health, which I 
nev^er before could have had. 1 wish, from the bottom of my 
soul, that he may be enjoying similar pleasures Willi those which 
I am now enjoying with all that newness of sensation ; that A^olup- 
tuous correspondence of the blood and flesh about me with breeze 
and sun-heat, which makes convalescence more than repay one for 
disease. 

I parted from Poole with pain and dejection, for him, and for 
myself in him. I should have given Stowey a decided preference 
for a residence. It was likewise so conveniently situated, that I 
was in the vray of almost all whom I love and esteem But there 
was no suitable house, and no prospect of a suitable house. 

* ^' ^^ These things would have weighed as noth- 

ing, could I have remained at Stowey, but now they come upon 
me to diminish my regret. Add to this, Poole's determination to 
spend a year or two on the continent, in case of a peace and his 
mother's death. God in heaven bless her ! I am sure she w411 
not live long. This is the first day of my arrival at Keswick. 
My house is roomy, situated on an eminence, a furlong from the 
town ; before it an enormous garden, more than two-thirds of 
which is rented as a garden for sale articles ; but the walks are 
ours. Completely behind the house are shrubberies, and a de- 
clivity planted with flourishing trees of ten or fifteen years' 
growth, at the bottom of v/hich is a most delightful shaded 
walk, by the river Greta, a quarter of a mile in length. The 
room in which I sit commands from one window the Bassenth- 
waite lake, woods, and mountains. From the apposite, the Der- 
wentwater and fantastic mountains of Borrowdale. Straight be- 
fore is a wilderness of mountains, catching and streaming lights 
and shadows at all times. Behind the house, and entering into 
all our views, is Skiddaw. 

My acquaintances here are pleasant, and at some distance is Sir 
Guilfred Lawson's seat, with a very large and expensive library, 



324 REMINISCENCES OF 

to which I have every reason to hope that I shall have free ac- 
cess. But when I have been settled here a few days longer, I 
will write you a minute account of my situation. Wordsworth 
lives twelve miles distant. In about a year's time he will proba- 
bly settle at Keswick likewise. It is no small advantage here, 
that for two-thirds of the year we are in complete retirement. 
The other third is alive and swarms with tourists of all shapes, 
and sizes, and characters. It is the very place I would recom- 
mend to a novelist or farce writer. Besides, at that time of the 
year there is always hope that a friend may be among the num- 
ber and miscellaneous crowd, whom this place attracts. So much 
for Keswick. 

Have you seen my translation of Wallenstein ? It is a dull 
heavy play, but I entertain hopes that you will think the lan- 
guage for the greater part, natural, and good common-sense Eng- 
lish ; to which excellence, if I can lay fair claim in any work of 
poetry or prose, I shall be a very singular writer, at least. I am 
now working at my ' Introduction of the Life of Lessing,' which 
I trust will be in the press before Christmas, that is, the ' Intro- 
duction,' which will be published first. God bless you, 

S. T. Coleridge. 

Josiah Wedgewood, Esq." 

"Keswick, Nov. 1, 1800. 
My dear Sir, 

I would fain believe that the experiment which your brother has 
made in the West Indies is not wholly a discouraging one. If a 
warm climat-e did nothing but only prevented him from getting 
worse, it surely evidenced some power ; and perhaps a climate 
equally favorable in a country of more various interest, Italy, or 
the South of France, may tempt your brother to make a longer 
trial. If (disciplining myself into silent cheerfulness) I could be 
of any comfort to him by being his companion and attendant, for 
two or three months, on the supposition that he should wish to 
travel, and was at a loss for a companion more fit, I would go 
with him with a willing affection. You will easily see, my dear 
friend, that I say this only to increase the range of your brother's 
choice — for even in choosing there is some pleasure. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 



There happen frequently little odd coincidences in time, that 
recall momentary faith in the notion of sympathies acting in ab- 
sence. I heard of your brother's return, for the first time, on 
Monday last, the day on which your letter is dated, from Stoddart. 
Had it rained on my naked skin, I could not have felt more 
strangely. The 300 or 400 miles that are between us seemed 
converted into a moral distance ; and I knew that the whole of 
this silence I was myself accountable for ; for I ended my last 
letter by promising to follow it with a second and longer one, be- 
fore you could ansvy^er the first. But immediately on my arrival 
in this country I undertook to finish a poem which I had begun, 
entitled ' Christabel,' for a second volume of the ' Lyrical Ballads.' 
I tried to perform my promise, but the deep, unutterable disgust 
which I had suffered in the translation of the accursed Wallen- 
stein, seemed to have stricken me with barrenness ; for I tried 
and tried, and nothing would come of it. I desisted with a deeper 
dejection than I am willing to remember. The wind from the 
Skiddaw and Borrowdale ay as often as loud as wind need be, 
and many a walk in the clouds in the mountains did I take ; 
but ail would not do, till one day I dined out at the house of a 
neighboring clergyman, and somehow or other drank so much 
wine, that I found some effort and dexterity requisite to balance 
myself on the hither edge of sobriety. The next day my verse- 
making faculties returned to me, and I proceeded successfully, till 
my poem grew so long, and in Wordsworth's opinion so impres- 
sive, that he rejected it from his volume, as disproportionate both 
in size and merit, and as discordant in its character. In the mean- 
time I had gotten myself entangled in the old sorites of the old 
sophist — procrastination. I had suffered my necessary businesses 
to accumulate so terribly, that I neglected to write to any one, till 
the pain I suffered from not writing made me waste as many hours 
in dreaming about it, as would have sufficed for the letter- writing 
of half a life. But there is something besides time requisite for the 
writing of a letter — at least with me. 

My situation here is indeed a delightful situation ; but I feel 
what I have lost — feel it deeply — it recurs more often and more 
painfully than I had anticipated, indeed, so much so, that I scarcely 
ever feel myself impelled, that is to say, pleasurably impelled to 



326 REMINISCENCES OF 

write to Poole. I used to feel myself more at home in his great 
windy parlor than in my own cottage. We were well suited to 
each other — my animal spirits corrected his inclination to melan- 
choly ; and there was something both in his understanding and in 
his affections, so healthy and manly, that my mind freshened in 
his company, and my ideas and habits of thinking acquired day 
after day more of substance and reality. Indeed, indeed, my dear 
sir, with tears in my eyes, and with all my heart and soul, I wish 
it were as easy for us all to meet as it was when you lived at Up- 
cott. Yet when I revise the step I have taken, I know not how 
I could have acted otherwise than I did act. Everything I prom- 
ised myself in this country has answered far beyond my expecta- 
tion. The room in which I write commands six distinct land- 
scapes — the two lakes, the vale, the river and mountains, and 
mists, and clouds and sunshine, make endless combinations, as if 
heaven and earth were forever talking to each other. Often when 
in a deep study, I have walked to the window, and remained there 
looking without seeing ; all at- once the lake of Keswick and the 
fantastic mountains of Borrowdale, at the head of it, have entered 
into my mind, with a suddenness as if I had been snatched out of 
Cheapside, and placed for the first time, in the spot where I stood 
— and that is a delio'htful feelincj — these fits and trances of nov- 
elty received from a long-known object. The river Greta flows 
behind our house, roaring like an untamed son of the hills, then 
winds round and glides away in the front, so that we live in a pe- 
ninsula. But besides this ethereal eye-feeding we have very sub- 
stantial conveniences. We are close to the town, where we have 
respectable and neighborly acquaintance, and a most sensible and 
truly excellent medical man. Our garden is part of a large nur- 
sery garden, which is the same to us and as private as if the whole 
had been our own, and thus too we have delightful walks without 
passing our garden gates. My landlord, who lives in the sister 
house, for the two houses are built so as to look like one great 
one, is a modest and kind man, of a singular character. By the 
severest economy he raised himself from a carrier into the pos- 
session of a comfortable independence. He was always very 
fond of reading, and has collected nearly 500 volumes of our 
most esteemed modern writers, such as Gibbon, Hume, Johnson, 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 327 

(fee, &c. His habits of economy and simplicity remain with him, 
and yet so very disinterested a man I scarcely ever knew. Lately, 
when I wished to settle with him about the rent of our house, 
he appeared much affected, told me that my living near him, and 
the having so much of Hartley's company were great comforts 
to him and his housekeeper, that he had no children to provide 
for, and did not mean to marry ; and in short, that he did not 
want any rent at all from me. This of course I laughed him out 
of ; but he absolutely refused to receive any rent for the first half- 
year, under the pretext that the house was not completely fur- 
nished. Hartley quite lives at the house, and it is, as you may 
suppose, no small joy to my wife to have a good, affectionate, 
motherly woman divided from her only by a wall. Eighteen 
miles from our house lives Sir Guilfred Lawson, who has a princely 
library, chiefly of natural history — a kind and generous, but weak 
and ostentatious sort of man, who has been abundantly civil to 
me. Among other raree shows, he keeps a wild beast or two, with 
some eagles, &c. The master of the beasts at the Exeter 'Change, 
sent him down a large bear, — with it a long letter of directions, 
concerning the food, (fee, of the animal, and many solicitations 
respecting the agreeable quadrupeds* which he was desirous to 
send to the baronet, at a moderate price, and concluding in this 
manner : ' and remain your honor's most devoted humble servant, 
J. P. Permit me, Sir Guilfred, to send you a buffalo and a rhi- 
noceros.' As neat a postscript as I ever heard — the tradesman- 
like coolness with which these pretty little animals occurred to 
him just at the finishing of his letter ! You will in three weeks 
see the letters on the 'Rise and Condition of the German Boors.' 
I found it convenient to make up a volume out of my journey, (fee, 
in North Germany — and the letters (your name of course erased) 
are in the printer's hands. I was so* weary of transcribing and 
composing, that when I found those more carefully written than 
the rest, I even sent them off as they were. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 
My littlest one is a very stout boy indeed. He is christened 
by the name of ' Derwent,' — a sort of sneaking affection you see 
for the poetical and novelist, which I disguised to myself under 
the show, that my brothers had so many children Johns, Jameses, 
Georges, (fee, (fee, that a handsome christian-like name was not 



328 REMINISCENCES OF 

to be had except by encroaching on the names of my Httle nephews. 
If you are at Gunville at Christmas, I hold out hopes to myself 
that I shall be able to pass a week with you there. I mentioned 
to you at Upcott a kind of comedy that I had committed to writing 
in part. This is in the wind. 

Wordsworth's second vol. of the * Lyrical Ballads/ will I hope, 
and almost believe, afford you as unmingled pleasure as is in the 
nature of a collection of very various poems to afford to one individ- 
ual mind. Sheridan has sent to him too — requests him to Avrite a 
tragedy for Drury Lane. But W. will not be diverted by any- 
thing from the prosecution of his great work. 

Southey's ' Thalaba,' in twelve books, is going to the press. 

Remember me with great affection to your brother, and present 
my kindest respects to Mrs. Wedgewood. Your late governess 
wanted one thing, which where there is health is I think indis- 
pensable in the moral character of a young person — a light and 
cheerful heart. She interested me a good deal. She appears to 
me to have been injured by going out of the common way without 
any of that imagination, which if it be a Jack o' Lantern to lead 
us that out way, is however, at the same time a torch to light us 
whither we are going. A whole essay might be written on the 
danger of thinking without images. God bless you, my dear sir, 
and him who is with grateful and affectionate esteem, 

Yours ever, 
Josiah Wedgewood. S. T. Coleridge." 

"Keswick, Oct. 20, 1802. 
My dear Sir, 

This is my birthday, my thirtieth. It will not appear wonder- 
ful to you, when I tell you, that before the arrival of your letter, 
I had been thinking with a 'great weight of different feehngs, con- 
cerning you, and your dear brother, for I have good reason to be- 
lieve, that I should not now have been alive, if in addition to 
other miseries, I had had immediate poverty pressing upon me. 
I will never again remain silent so long. It has not been alto- 
gether indolence, or my habit of procrastination which have kept 
me from writing, but an eager wish, — I may truly say, a thirst 
of spirit, to have something honorable to tell you of myself. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 329 



At present I must be content to tell you something cheerful. 
My health is very muck better. I am stronger in every respect, 
and am not injured by study, or the act of sitting at my writing 
desk ; but my eyes suffer if at any time I have been intemperate 
in the use of candle light. This account supposes another, namely, 
that my ^lind is calm, and more at ense. My dear sir, when I 
was last with you at Stowey, my heart was often full, and I could 
scarcely keep from communicating to you the tale of my dis- 
tresses, but could I add to your depression, when you were low ? 
or how interrupt, or cast a shade on j^our good spirits, that were 
so rare, and so precious to you ? 
^ % -v '^ ^- ^ ^ ^ 

I found no comfort but in the direct speculations ; — in the ' Ode 
to Dejection,' which you were pleased with. These lines, in the 
Original, followed the line ' My shaping spirit of imagination,' — 

' For not to think of what I needs must feel, 
But to be still and patient, all I can, 
And haply by abstruse research to steal 
From my own nature all the natural man ; 
This was my soul resource, my only plan 
And that which suits a part infests the whole. 
And now is almost grown the temple of my soul.' 

I give you these lines for the spirit, and not for the poetry. 

% % % 'I: 'It ^ ^ % 

But better days are arrived, and are still to come, I have had 
visitations of — that I may yet be something of which those Avho 
love me may be proud. 

I cannot write that without recalling dear Poole. I have heard 
twice, and written twice, and I fear by a strange fatality, one of 
the letters will have missed him. Leslie^^ was here some time 
ago. I was very much pleased with him. And now I v/ill tell 
you what I am doing. I dedicate three days in the week to the 
* Morning Post,' and shall hereafter write, for the far greater part, 
such things as will be of a permanent interest as anything I can 

* The eminent Edinburgh Professor. For three years the private tutor of 
Mr. T. Wedgewood. 



330 REMINISCENCES OF 

hope to write; and you will shoitly see a little essay of mine, 
justifying the writing in a newspaper. 

My compaxison of the French Avith the Roman Empire was very 
favorably received. The poetry which I have sent is merely the 
emptying out of my desk. The epigrams are wretched indeed, 
but they answered Stewart's purpose, better than better things. 
I ought not to have given any signature to them whatsoever. I 
never dreamt of acknowledging, either them, or the Ode to the 
* Rain.' As to feeble expressions, and unpolished lines — there is 
the rub ! Indeed, my dear sir, I do value your opinion very 
highly. I think your judgment in the sentiment, the imager}^ 
the flow of a poem, decisive ; at least if it differed from my own, 
and if after frequent consideration mine remained different, it 
vvould leave me at least perplexed. For you are a perfect elec- 
trometer in these things — but in point of poetic diction, I am not 
so well satisfied that you do not require a certain aloofness from 
the language of real life, which I think deadly to poetry. 

Yery soon however I shall present you from the press with my 
opinions full on the subject of style, both in prose and verse ; and 
I am confident of one thing, that I shall "convince you that I have 
thought much and patiently on the subject, and that I understand 
the whole strength of my antagonist's cause. For I am now 
busy on the subject, and shall in a very few weeks go to press 
with a volume on the prose v.ritings of Hall, Milton, and Taylor ; 
and shall immediately follow it up with an essay on the writings of 
Dr. Johnson and Gibbon, and in these two volumes I flatter my- 
self I shall present a fair history of English Prose. If my life 
and health remain, and I do but write half as much, and as regu- 
larly as I have done during the last six weeks, this will be finished 
by January next ; and I shall then put together my memorandum 
book on the subject of Poetry. In both I have endeavored sed- 
ulously to state the facts and the differences clearly and accu- 
rately ; and my reasons for the preference of one style to another 
ai:e secondary to thii. 

Of this be assured, that I will never give anything to the 
world in proprim personce. in my own name which I have not tor- 
mented with the file. I sometimes suspect that my foul copy 
vvould often appear to general readers more polished than my fair 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 331 



copy. Many of the feeble and colloquial expressions have been 
mdustriously substituted for others which struck me as artificial, 
and not standing the test ; as being neither the language of pas- 
sion, nor distinct conceptions. Dear sir, indulge nie with looking 
still further on in my literary life. 

I have, since my twentieth year, meditated an heroic poem on 
the ' Siege of Jerusalem,' by Titus. This is the pride and the 
stronghold of my hope, but I never think of it except in my best 
moods. The v\^ork to which I dedicate the ensuing years of my 
life, is one which highly pleased Leslie, in prospective, and my 
paper will not let me prattle to you about it. I have written 
what you more wished me to write, all about myself. 

Our climate (in the north) is inclement, and our houses not as 
compact as they might be, but it is a stirring climate, and the 
worse the weather, the more unceasingly entertaining are my 
study windows, and the month that is to come is the glory of the 
year with us. A very warm bedroom I can promise you, and one 
at the same time Avhich commands the finest lake and mountain 
view. If Leslie could not go abroad v/ith you, and I could in 
any Ava}" mould my manners and habits to suit you, I should of 
all things like to be your companion. Good-nature, an affection- 
ate disposition, and so thorough a sympathy with the nature of 
your complaint, that I should feel no pain, not the most momen- 
tary, at being told by you what your feelings require at the time 
in which they required it ; this I should bring vfith me. But I 
need not say that you may say to me, — ' You don't suit me,' 
without inllictinoc the least mortification. Of course this letter is 
for your brother as for you ; but I shall write to him soon. God 
bless you. 

S. T. Coleridge. 

Thomas Wedge wood, Esq." 

"Keswick, November 3, 1802. 
Dear Wedge wood. 

It is now two hours since I received your letter ; and after the 

necessary consultation, Mrs. Coleridge herself is fully of opinion 

that to lose time is 'merely to lose spirits. Accordingly I have 

^ resolved not to look the children in the face, (the parting from 



332 REMINISCENCES OF 

whom is the downright bitter in the thing,) but to go to London 
by to-morrow's mail. Of course I shall be in London, God per- 
mitting, on Saturday morning. I shall rest that day, and the 
next, and proceed to Bristol by the Monday night's mail. At 
Bristol I will go to Cote-House."^ At all events, barring serious 
illness, serious fractures, and the et cetera of serious unforeseens, 
I shall be at Bristol, Tuesday noon, November 9. 

You are aware that my whole knowledge of French does not 
extend beyond the power of limping slowly, not without a dic- 
tionary crutch, or an easy French book : and that as to pronuncia- 
tion, all my organs of speech, from the bottom of the larynx to 
the edge of my lips, are utterly and naturally anti- Galilean. If 
only I shall have been any comfort, any alleviation to you, I shall 
feel myself at ease — and whether you go abroad or no, while I 
remain with you, it vrill greatly contribute to my comfort, if I 
know you will have no hesitation, nor pain, in telling me what 
you w^ish m'e to do, or not to do. 

I regard it among the blessings of my life, that I have never 
lived among men whom I regarded as my artificial superiors : that 
all the respect I have at any time paid, has been v/holly to sup- 
posed goodness, or talent. The consequence has been that I 
have no alarms of pride ; no cheval de frise of independence. I 
have always lived among equals. It never occurs to me, even 
for a moment, that I am otherwise. If I have quarrelled with 
men, it has been as brothers, or as school-fellovrs quarrel. How 
little any man can give me, or take from me, save in matters of 
kindness and esteem, is not so much a thought or conviction with 
me, or even a distinct feeling, as it is my very nature. Much as 
I dislike all formal declarations of this kind, I have deemed it 
well to say this. I have as strong feelings of gratitude as any 
man. Shame upon me, if in the sickness and the sorrow which 
I have had, and which have been kept unaggravated and sup- 
portable by your kindness, and your brother's (Mr. Josiah Wedge- 
wood) shame upon me if I did not feel a kindness, not unmixed 
with reverence towards you both. But yet I never should have 
had my present impulses to be with you, and this confidence, that 
I may become an occasional comfort to you, if, independently of 

* Westbury, near Bristol, the then residence of Mr. John Wedgewood, Esq. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 333 



all gratitude, I did not thoroughly esteem you ; and if I did not 
appear to myself to understand the nature of your sufferings; 
and within the last year, in some slight degree to have felt my- 
self, something of the same. 

Forgive me, my dear sir, if I have said too much. It is better 
to write it than to say it, and I am anxious in the event of our 
travelling together that you should yourself be at ease with me, 
even as you would with a younger brother, to whom, from his 
childhood, you had been in the habit of saying, * Do this Col.' or 
* don't do that.' All good be with you, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

Thomas Wedgewood, Esq. 

"Keswick, January 9, 1803. 
My dear Wedgewood, 

I send you two letters, one from your dear sister, the second 
from Sharp, by which you will see at what short notice I must be 
off, if I go to the Canaries. If your last plan continue in full 
force, I have not even the phantom of a wish thitherward strug- 
gling, but if aught have happened to you, in the things without, 
or in the world within, to induce you to change the place, or the 
plan, relatively to me, I think I could raise the money. But I 
would a thousand-fold rather go with you whithersoever you go. 
I shall be anxious to hear how you have gone on since I left you. 
You should decide in favor of a better climate somewhere or 
other. The best scheme I can think of, is to go to some part of 
Italy or Sicily, which we both liked. I would look out for two 
houses. Wordsworth and his family would take the one, and I 
the other, and then you might have a home either with me, or if 
you thought of Mr. and Mrs. Luff, under this modification, one 
of your own ; and in either case you would have neighbors, and 
so return to England when the home sickness pressed heavy upon 
you, and back to Italy when it was abated, and the climate of 
England began to poison your comforts. So you would have 
abroad in a genial climate, certain comforts of society among sim- 
ple and enlightened men and women ; and I should be an allevia- 
tion of the pang which you will necessarily feel, as often as you 
quit yctUr own family. 



334 REMINISCENCES OF 

I know no better plan : for travelling in search of objects is at 
best a dreary business, and whatever excitement it might have 
had, you must have exhausted it. God bless you, my dear friend. 
I write with dim eyes, for indeed, indeed, my heart is v^ery full 
of affectionate, sorrowful thoughts toward you. 

I write with difficulty, with all the fingers but one of my right 
hand very much swollen. Before I was half up the Kirkstcme 
mountain, the storm had wetted me through and through, and 
before I reached the top it was so wild and outrageous, that it 
would have been unmanly to have suffered the poor vroman (guide) 
to continue pushing on, up against such a torrent of wind and 
rain : so I dismounted and sent her home with the storm in her 
back. I am no novice in mountain mischiefs, but such a storm 
as this was, I never witnessed, combining the intensity of the cold 
with the violence of the wind and rain. The rain drops were pelted 
or slung against my face by the gusts, just like splinters of flint, 
and I felt as if every drop cut my flesh. My hands were all 
shrivelled up like a washerwoman's, and so benumbed that I was 
obliged to carry my stick under my arm. O, it was a wild busi- 
ness ! Such hurry skurry of clouds, such volleys of sound ! In 
spite of the wet and the cold, I should have had some pleasure in it, 
but for two vexations ; first, an almost intolerable pain came into 
my right eye, a smarting and burning pain ; and secondly, in con- 
sequence of riding with such cold water under my seat, extremely 
uneasy and burthensome feelings attacked my groin, so that, what 
with the pain from the one, and the alarm from the other, I had 
no enjoyment at all I 

Just at the brow of the hill I met a man dismounted, who 
could not sit on horse-back. He seemed quite scared by the up- 
roar, and said to me with much feeling, ' O sir, it is a perilous 
buffeting, but it is worse for you than for me, for I have it at my 
back.' However, I got safely over, and immediately all was calm 
and breathless, as if it was some mighty fountain put on the sum- 
mit of Kirkstone, that shot forth its A'olcano of air, and precipitated 
huge streams of invisible lava down the road to Patterdale. 

I went on to Grasmere."* I was not at all unwell, when I 
arrived there, though wet of course to the skin. My right eye 
* The then residence of Mr. Wordsworth. • 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 335 

had nothing the matter with it, either to tiie sight of others, or 
to my own feehngs, but I had a bad niglit, with distressful dreams, 
chiefly about my eye ; and waking often in the dark I thought it 
was the efiect of mere recollection, but it appeared in the morning 
that ray right eye was blood-shot, and the lid swollen. That 
morning, however, I walked home, and before I reached Keswick, 
my eye was quite well, but I felt iinioell all over. Yesterday I 
continued unusually unwell all over me till eight o'clock in the 
evening. I took no laudanum or opium, but at eight o'clock, 
unable to bear the stomach uneasiness, and achings of my limbs, 
I took tv/o large tea-spoons full of ether in a wine-glass of cam- 
phorated gum-vrater, and a third tea-spoon full at ten o'clock, and 
I received complete relief ; my body calm.ed ; my sleep placid ; — 
but when I awoke in the morning, my right hand, with three of 
the fingers, were swollen and inflamed. The swelling in the hand 
is gone down, and of two of the fingers somewhat abated, but the 
middle finger is still twice its natural size, so that I write with 
difficulty. This has been a very rough attack, but though I am 
much weakened by it, and look sickly and haggard, yet I am not 
out of heart. Such a bout ; such a ' perilous buffeting,' was 
enough to have hurt the health of a strong man. Few consti- 
tutions can bear to be long wet through in intense cold. I fear it 
will tire you to-death to read this prolix scrawled story. 
Affectionately, dear friend, yours ever, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

^^:^^ovember 12, 1800. 
My dear Sir, 

I received your kind letter, with the twenty pounds. My eyes 
are in such a state of inflammation that I might as well write 
blindfold, they are so blood-red. I have had leeches twice, and 
have now a blister behind my right ear. How I caught the cold 
in the first instance, I can scarcely guess ; but I improved it to its 
present glorious state, by taking long walks all the mornings, spite 
of the wind, and writing late at night, while my ^y es were weak. 

I have made some rather curious observations on the rising up 
of spectra in the eye, in its inflamed state, and their influence on 
ideas, &c., but I cannot see to make myself intelligible to you. 



336 REMINISCENCES OF 



Present my kindest remembrance to Mrs. W. and your brother. 
Pray did you ever pay any particular attention to the first time 
of your Httle ones smiling and laughing? Both I and Mrs. C. 
have carefully watched our little one, and noticed down all the 
circumstances, under which he smiled, and under Avhich he 
laughed, for the first six times, nor have we remitted our atten- 
tion ; but I have not been able to derive the least confirmation of 
Hartley's or Darwin's Theory. You say most truly, my dear sir, 
that a pursuit is necessary. Pursuit, for even praiseworthy 
employment, merely for good, or general good, is not sufficient for 
happiness, nor fit for man. 

I have not at present made out how I stand in pecuniary ways, 
but I believe that I have anticipated on the next year to the 
amount of Thirty or Forty pounds, probably more. God bless 
you, my dear sir, and your sincerely 

Affectionate friend, 
Josiah Wedgewood, Esq. S. T. Coleridge." 

"Friday night, Jan. 14, 1803. 
Dear Friend, 

I was glad at heart to receive your letter, and still more glad- 
dened by the reading of it. The exceeding kindness which it 
breathed was literally medicinal to me, and I firmly believe, cured 
me of a nervous rheumatic affection, the acid and the oil, very 
completely at Patterdale ; but by the time it came to Keswick 
the oil was all atop. 

You" ask me, * Why, in the name of goodness, I did not return 
when I saw the state of the weather ?' The true reason is simple, 
though it may be somewhat strange. The thought never once 
entered my head. The cause of this I suppose to be, that (I do 
not remember it at l^ast) I never once in my whole life turned 
back in fear of the weather. Prudence is a plant, of which I no 
doubt, possess some valuable specimens, but they are always in 
my hothouse, never out of the glasses, and least of all things 
would endure the climate of the mountains. In simple earnest- 
nets, I never find myself alone, within the embracement of rocks 
and hills, a traveller up an Alpine road, but my spirit careers, 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 337. 



drives, and eddies, like a leaf in autumn; a wild activity of 
thoughts, imaginations, feelings, and impulses of motion rises up 
from within me ; a sort of bottom wind, that blows to no point 
of the compass, comes from I know not vfhence, but agitates the 
whole of me ; my whole being is filled with waves that roll and 
stumble, one this way, and one that way, like things that have no 
common master. I think that my soul must have pre-existed in 
the body of a chamois-chaser. The simple image of the old ob- 
jects has been obliterated, but the feelings and impulsive habits, 
and incipient actions are in me, and the old scenery awakens them. 

The further I ascend from animated nature, from men, and cat- 
tle, and the common birds of the woods and fields, the greater 
becomes in me the intensity of the feeling of life. Life seems to 
me then an universal spirit, that neither has, nor can have an op- 
posite. * God is everywhere,' I have exclaimed, and works every- 
where, and where is there room for death ? In these moments it 
has been my creed, that death exists only because ideas exist ; 
that life is limitless sensation ; that death is a child of the organic 
senses, chiefly of the sight ; that feelings die by flowing into the 
mould of the intellect becoming ideas, and that ideas passing forth 
into action, reinstate themselves again in the world of life. And I 
do believe that truth lies in these loose generalizations. I do not 
think it possible that any bodily pains could eat out the love of 
joy, that is so substantially part of me, toAvards hills, and rocks, 
and steep waters ; and I have had some trial. 

On Monday night I had an attack in my stomach and right side, 
which in pain, and the length of its continuance, appeared to me 
by far the severest I ever had. About one o'clock the pain passed 
out of my stomach, like lightning from a cloud, into the extremi- 
ties of my right foot. My toe swelled and throbbed, and I was 
in a state of delicious ease, which the pain in my toe did not seem 
at all to interfere with. On Tuesday I was uncommonly well all 
the morning, and ate an excellent dinner ; but playing too long 
and too rompingly with Hartley and Derwent, I was very unwell 
that evening. On Wednesday I was well, and after dinner wrap- 
ped myself up warm, and walked with Sarah Hutchinson, to Lo- 
dore. I never beheld anything more impressive than the wild 
outline of the black masses of mountain over Lodore, and so on 

15 



338 REMINISCENCES OF 



to the gorge of Borro^vdale. Even through the bare twigs of a 
grove of birch trees, through which the road passes ; and on 
emerging from the grove a red planet, so very red that I never 
saw a star so red, being clear and bright at the same time. It 
seemed to have sky behind it. It started, as it were from the 
heavens, like an eye-ball of fire. I wished aloud at that moment 
that you had been with me. 

The walk appears to have done me good, but I had a wretched 
night ; shocking pains in my head, occiput, and teeth, and found 
in the morning that I had two bloodshot eyes. But almost imme- 
diately after the receipt and perusal of your letter the pains left 
me, and I am bettered to this hour ; and am now indeed as well 
as usual saving that my left eye is very much blood-shot. It is a 
sort of duty with me, to be particular respecting parts that relate 
to my health. I have retained a good sound appetite through 
the whole of it, without any craving after exhilarants or narcotics, 
and I have got well as in a moment. Rapid recovery is constitu- 
tional with me ; but the former circumstances, I can w4th cer- 
tainty refer to the system of diet, abstinence of vegetables, wine, 
spirits, and beer, which I have adopted by your advice. 

I have no dread or anxiety respecting any fatigue which either 
of us is likely to undergo, even in continental travelling. Many 
a healthy man would have been laid up with such a bout of thor- 
ough wet, and intense cold at the same time, as I had at Kirk- 
stone. Would to God that also for your sake I were a stronger 
man, but I have strong wishes to be with you. I love your 
society, and receiving much comfort from you, and believing like- 
wise that I receive much improvement, I find a delight very great, 
my dear friend ! indeed it is, when I have reason to imagine that 
I am in return an alleviation to your destinies, and a comfort to 
you. I have no fears and am ready to leave home at a two days' 
warning. For myself I should say two hours, but bustle and 
hurry might disorder Mrs. Coleridge. She and the three children 
are quite well. 

I grieve that there is a lowering in politics. The ' Moniteur' 
contains almost daily some bitter abuse of our minister and parlia- 
ment, and in London there is great anxiety and omening. I have 
dreaded war from the time that the disastrous fortunes of the ex- 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 339 

pedition to Saint Domingo, under Le Clerc, was known in France. 
Write me one or two lines, as few as you like. 

I remain, my dear Wedgewood, with most affectionate esteem, 
and grateful attachment, 

Your sincere friend, 

S. T. Coleridge.'' 
Thomas Wedgewood, Esq." 

'' Nether Stowey, Feb. 10, 1803. 
Dear Wedgewood, 

Last night Poole and I fully expected a few lines from you. 
When the newspaper came in, without your letter, we felt as if a 
dull neighbor had been ushered in after a knock at the door which 
had made us rise up and start forward to welcome some long ab- 
sent fiiend. Indeed in Poole's case, this simile is less over-swollen 
than in mine, for in contempt of my convictions and assurance to 
the contrary, Poole, passing oft the Brummagem coin of his wishes 
for sterling reasons, had persuaded himself fully that he should 
see you in propria persona. The truth is, we had no right to ex- 
pect a letter from you, and I should have attributed your not 
writing to your having nothing to write, to your bodily dislike of 
writing, or, though with reluctance, to low spirits, but that I have 
been haunted with the fear that your sister is worse, and that you 
are at Cote -House, in the mournful office of comforter to your 
brother. God keep us from idle dreams. Life has enough of real 
pains. 

I wrote to Captain Wordsworth to get me some Bang. The 
captain in an affectionate letter answers me : ' The Bang if possi- 
ble shall be sent. If any country ship arrives I shall certainly 
get it. We have not got anything of the kind in our China ships.' 
If you would rather wait till it can be brought by Captain 
Wordsworth himself from China, give me a line that I may write 
and tell him. We shall hope for a letter from you to-night. I 
need not say, dear Wedgewood, how anxious I am to hear the 
particulars of your health and spirits. 

Poole's account of his conversations, &c., in France, are very 
interesting and instructive. If your inclination lead you hither 
yd#would be very comfortable here. But I am ready at an 



340 REMINISCENCES OF 



hour's warning ; ready in heart and mind, as well as in body and 
movables. 

I am, dear Wedgewood, most truly yours, 

S. T. Coleridge. 

Thomas Wedgewood, Esq." 

"Stowey, Feb. 10, 1803. 
My dear Wedgewood, 

With regard to myself and my accompanying you, let me say 
thus much. My health is not worse than it was in the North ; 
indeed it is much better. I have no fears. But if you fear that, 
my health being what you know it to be, the inconveniences of 
my being with you will be greater than the advantages, (I feel 
no reluctance in telling you so,) it is so entirely an affair of spirits 
and feeling that the conclusion must be made by you, not in your 
reason, but purely in your spirit and feeling. Sorry indeed should 
I be to know that you had gone abroad with one, to whom you 
were comparatively indifferent. Sorry if there should be no one 
with you, who could with fellow-feeling and general like-minded- 
ness, yield you sympathy in your sunshiny moments. - Dear 
Wedgewood^ my heart swells vfithin me as it v^ere. I have no 
other wish to accompany you than what arises immediately from 
my personal attachment, and a deep sense in my own heart, that 
let us be as dejected as we will, a week together cannot pass in 
which a mind like yours would not feel the want of affection, or 
be wholly torpid to its pleasurable influences. I cannot bear to 
think of your going abroad with a mere travelling companion ; 
with one at all influenced by salary, or personal conveniences. 
You will not suspect me of flattering you, but indeed dear 
Wedgewood, you are too good and too valuable a man to deserve 
to receive attendance from a hireling, even for a month together, 
in your present state. 

If I do not go with you, I shall stay in England only such 
time as may be necessary for me to raise the travelling money, 
and go immediately to the south of France. I shall probably 
cross the Pyrennees to Bilboa, see the country of Biscay, and 
cross the north of Spain to Perpignan, and so on to the north of 
Italy, and pass my next winter at Nice. I have every reasSrto 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 341 

believe that I can live, even as a traveller, as cheap as I can ia 
England. God bless you. I will repeat no professions, even in 
the superscription of a letter. You know me, and that it is my 
serious, simple wash, that in everything respecting me, you would 
think altogether of yourself, and nothing of me, and be assured 
that no resolve of yours, how^ever suddenly adopted, or however 
nakedly communicated, will give me any pain, any at least aris- 
ing from my own bearings. Yours ever, 

S. T. Coleridge. 
Thomas Wedgewood, Esq. 

P. S. Perhaps Leslie will go with you." 

"Poole's, Feb. 17, 1803. 
My dear Wedgewood, 

I do not know that I have anything to say that justifies me in 
troubling you with the postage and perusal of this scrawl. I re- 
ceived a short and kind letter from Josiah last night. He is 
named the sheriff. Poole, who has received a very kind invitation 
from your brother John, in a letter of last Monday, and which 
w'as repeated fti last night's letter, goes w^ith me, I hope in the 
full persuasion that you will be there (at Cote-House) before he 
be under the necessity of returning home. Poole is a very, 
very good man, I like even his incorrigibility in little faults and 
deficiencies. It looks like a wdse determination of nature to let 
w^ell alone. 

Are you not laying out a scheme which wdll throw your travel- 
ing in Italy, into an unpleasant and unwholesome part of the 
year? From ail I can gather, you ought to leave this country at 
the first of April at the latest. But no doubt you know these 
things better than I. If I do not go with you, it is very probable 
we shall meet somewhere or other. At all events, you wdll know 
w^here I am, and I can come to you if you wish it. And if I go 
wuth you, there will be this advantage, that you may drop me 
where you like, if you should meet any Frenchman, Italian, or 
Swiss, vrhom you liked, and w^ho would be pleasant and profitable 
to you. P>ut this we can discuss at Gunville. 

As to — , I never doubted that he means to fulfil his en- 
gagements with you, but he is one of those weak-moralled men. 



342 REMINISCENCES OF 



with whom the meaning to do a thing means nothing. He prom- 
ises with ninety parts out of a hundred of his whole heart, but 
there is always a stock of cold at the core that transubstantiates 
the whole resolve into a lie. 

I lemain in comfortable health, — warm rooms, an old friend, 
and tranquillity, are specifics for my complaints. With all my 
ups and downs I have a deal of joyous feeling, and I would with 
gladness give a good part of it to you, my dear friend. God 
grant that spring may come to you with healing on her wings. 

God bless you, my dear Wedgewood. I remain with most af- 
fectionate esteem, and regular attachment, and good wishes, 

Yours ever, 

S. T. Coleridge. 

Thomas Wedgewood, Esq. 

P. S. If Southey should send a couple of bottles, one of the 
red sulphate, and one of the compound acids for me, will you be 
so good as to bring them with you?" 

"Stowey, Feb. 17, 1803. 
My dear Wedgewood, 

Last night I received a four ounce parcel letter, by the post, 
which Poole and I concluded was the mistake or carelessness of 
the servant, who had put the letter into the post office, instead of 
the coach office. I should have been indignant, if dear Poole had 
not set me laughing. On opening it, it contained my letter from 
Gunville, and a small parcel of ' Bang,' from Purkis. I will tran- 
scribe the parts of his letter which relate to it. 

* Brentford, Feb. V, 1803. 
My dear Coleridge, 

I thank you for your letter, and am happy to be the means of 
obliging you. Immediately on the receipt of yours, I wrote to 
Sir Joseph Banks, who I verily believe is one of the most excel- 
lent and useful men of this country, requesting a small quantity 
of Bang, and saying it was for the use of Mr. T. Wedgewood. I 
yesterday received the parcel which I now send, accompanied 
with a very kind letter, and as part of it will be interesting to you 
and your friend, I will transcribe it. * The Bang you ask for is 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 343 



the powder of the leaves of a kind of hemp that grows in the hot 
climates. It is prepared, and I believe used, in all parts of the 
east, from Morocco to China. In Europe it is found to act very 
differently on different constitutions. Some it elevates in the ex- 
treme ; others it renders torpid, and scarcely ob^rvant of any 
evil that may befall them. In Barbary it is always taken, if it can 
be procured, by criminals condemned to suffer amputation, and it 
is said to enable those miserables to bear the rough operations 
of an unfeeling executioner, more than we Europeans can the keen 
knife of our most skilful chirurgeons. This it may be necessary 
to have said to my friend Mr. T. Wedgewood, whom I respect 
much, as his virtues deserve, and I -know them well. I send a 
small quantity only as I possess but little. If hovv^ever, it is found 
to agree, I will instantly forward the whole of my stock, and send 
vrithout delay to Barbary, from whence it came, for more.' 

Sir Joseph adds, in a postscript : ' It seems almost beyond a 
doubt, that the ^N'epenthe was a preparation of the Bang, known 
to the Ancients.' 

l:Jo\v I had better take the small parcel with me to Gunville ; 
if I send it by the post, besides the heavy expense, I cannot rely 
on the Stowey carriers, who are a brace of as careless and dis- 
honest rogues as ever had claims on that article of the hemp and 
timber trade, called the gallows. Indeed I verily believe that if 
all Stowey, Ward excepted, does not go to hell, it will be by the 
siuaererogation of Poole's sense of honesty. — Charitable ! 

we will have a fair trial of Bang. Do bring dov,ai some of the 
Hyoscyamine pills, and I will give a fair trial of Opium, Henbane, 
and Nepenthe. By-the-by I always considered Homer's account 
of the Nepenthe as a Banging lie. 

God bless you, my dear friend, and 

S. T. Coleridge." 

'^Keswick, September 16, 1803. 
My dear Wedgewood, 

I reached home on yesterday noon. William Hazlitt is a think- 
ing, observant, original man; of great power as a painter of 
character-portraits, and far more in the manner of the old painters 



344 REMINISCENCES OF 

than any living artist, but the objects must be before hira. He 
has no imaginative memory ; so much for his intellectuals. His 
manners are to ninety-nine in one hundred singularly repulsive ; 
broAv-hanging ; shoe-contemplating — strange. Sharp seemed to 
like him, but ^arp saw him for only half an hour, and that 
walking. He is, I verily believe, kindly naturcd : is very fond of, 
attentive to, and patient with children, but he is jealous, gloomy, 
and of an irritable pride. With all this there»is much good in him. 
He is disinterested ; an enthusiastic lover of the great men who 
have been before us. He says things that are his own, in a way 
of his own : and though from habitual shyness, and the outside 
of bearskin, at least of misanthrophy, he is strangely confused 
and dark in his conversation, and delivers himself of almost all 
his conceptions with a Forceps, y^i he says more than any man I 
ever knew (you yourself only excepted) that which is his own, in 
a w^ay of his own : and oftentimes when he has wearied his mind, 
and the juice is come out, and spread over his spirits, he will 
gallop for half an ho'jr together, with real eloquence. He sends 
well -feathered thoughts straight forward to the mark with a twang 
of the bow-string. If you could recommend him as a portrait 
painter, I should be glad. To be your companion, he is, in my 
. opinion, utterly unfit. His own health is fitful. 

I have written as I ought to do : to you most freely. You 
know me, both head and heart, and I will make what deductions 
your reasons may dictate to me. I can think of no other person 
[for your travelling companion] — what wonder ? For the l^g^t 
years, I have been shy of all new acquaintance. 

' To lived beloved is all I need, 
And when I love, I love indeed." 

I never had any ambition, and now, I trust I have almost as 
little vanity. 

For five months past my mind has been strangely shut up. I 
have taken the paper with the intention to write to you many 
times, but it has been one blank feeling ; — one blank idealess 
feeling. I had nothing to say ; — could say nothing. How dearly 
I love you, my very dreams make known to me. I will not 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 345 

trouble you witli the gloomy tale of my health. When I am 
awake, by patience, employment, effort of mind, and walking, I 
can keep the Fiend at arm's length, but the night is my Hell ! — 
sleep my tormenting Angel. Three nights out of four I fall 
asleep, struggling to lie awake, and my frequent night-screams 
have almost made me a nuisance in my own house. Dreams with 
me are no shadows, but the very calamities of my life. * ^ ^ 

In the hope of drawing the gout, if gout it should be, into my 
feet, I walked previously to my getting into the coach at Perth, 
263 miles, in eight days, with no unpleasant fatigue ; and if I 
could do 5^ou any service by coming to town, and there were no 
coaches, I would undertake to be with you, on foot, in seven days. 
I must have strength somewhere. My head is equally strong : 
my hmbs too are strong : but acid or not acid, gout or not gout, 
something there is in my stomach. ^ ^ ^ 

To diversify this dusky letter, I v/ill vrrite an Epitaph, which I 
composed in my sleep for myself while dreaming that I was dy- 
ing. To the best of my recollection I have not altered a Avord. 

' Here sleeps at length poor Col. and without screaming 
Who died, as he had always lived, a dreaming ; 
Shot dead, while sleeping, by the gout within, 
Alone, and all unknown, at E'nbro' in an Inn.' 

It was Tuesday night last, at the 'Black Bull,' Edinburgh. Yours, 
dear Wedgewood, gratefully, and 

Most affectionately, 
Thomas Wedgewood, Esq. S. T. Coleridge." 

*' 16, Abingdon Street, Westminster, Jan., 1804. 
My dear Friend, 

Some divines hold, that with God to think, and to create, are 
one and the same act. If to think, and even to compose had been 
the same as to write Vvith me, I should have written as much too 
much as I have written too little. The whole truth of the matter 
is, that I have been very, very ill. Your letter remained four 
days unread, I was so ill. What effect it had upon me I cannot 
express by words. It lay under my pillow day after day. I 
should have written forty times, but as it often and often happens 

15* 



346 REMINISCENCES OF 



with me, my heart was too full, and I had so much to say that I 
said nothing. I never received a delight that lasted longer upon 
me — ' Brooded on my mind and made it pregnant/ than (from) 
the six last sentences of your last letter, — which I cannot apolo- 
gize for not having answered, for I should be casting calumnies 
against myself. For the last six or seven weeks, I have both 
thought and felt more concerning you, and relating to you, than 
of all other men put together. 

Somehow or other, whatever plan I determined to adopt, my 
fancy, good-natured pander of our wishes, always linked you on 
to it ; or I made it your plan, and linked myself on. I left 
my home, December 20, 1803, intending to stay a day and a half 
at Grasmere, and then to walk to Kendal, whither I had sent all 
my clothes and viatica ; from thence to go to London, and to see 
whether or no I could arrange my pecuniary matters, so as leav- 
ing Mrs. Coleridge all that was necessary to her comforts, to go 
myself to Madeira, having a persuasion, strong as the life within 
me, that one winter spent in a really warm, genial climate, would 
completely restore me. Wordsworth had, as I may truly say, 
forced on me a hundred pounds, in the event of my going to Ma- 
deira ; and Stewart had kindly offered to befriend me. During 
the days and affrightful nights of my disease, when my hmbs 
were swollen, and my stomach refused to retain the food — taken 
in sorrow, then I looked with pleasure on the scheme : but as soon 
as dry frosty weather came, or the rains and damps passed off, 
and I was filled with elastic health, from crown to sole, then the 
thought of the weight of pecuniary obligation from so many peo- 
ple reconciled me ; but I have broken off my story. 

I stayed at Grasmere (Mr. Wordsworth's) a month, three-fourths 
of the time bed-ridden ; — and deeply do I feel the enthusiastic 
kindness of Wordsworth's wife and sister, who sat up by me, one 
or the other, in order to awaken me at the first symptoms of dis- 
tressful feeling ; and even when they went to rest, continued often 
and often to weep and watch for me even in their dreams. I left 
them January the 14th, and have spent a very pleasant week at 
Dr. Crompton's, at Liverpool, and arrived in London, at Poole's 
lodgings, last night at eight o'clock. 

Though my right hand is so much swollen that I can scarcely 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 347 

keep my pen steady between my thumb and finger, yet my stom- 
ach is easy, and my breathing comfortable, and I am eager to 
hope all good things of my health. That gained, I have a cheer- 
ing, and I trust prideless confidence that I shall make an active, 
and perseverant use of the faculties and requirements that have 
been intrusted to my keeping, and a fair trial of their height, 
depth, and width. ^ Indeed look back on the last four months 
with honest pride, seeing how much I have done, with what steady 
attachment of mind to the same subject, and under what vexa- 
tions and son-ows, from without, and amid what incessant suffer- 
ings. So much of myself. When I know more, I will tell you 
more. 

I find you are still at Cote-house. Poole tells me you talk of 
Jamaica as a summer excursion. If it were not for the voyage, I 
would that you would go to Madeira, for from the hour I get on 
board the vessel, to the time that I once more feel England be- 
neath my feet, I am as certain as past and present experience can 
make me, that I shalfbe in health, in high health ; and then I am 
sure, not only that I should be a comfort to you, but that I should 
be so without diminution of my activity, or professional usefulness. 

* List of the Works and Poems which Mr. Coleridge i7itended to write, with 
the pages in which they are noticed. 



Page. 

Poem on the Nativity (300 hnes,) 49 Hist, of German Belles Lettras . 317 

Plan of General Study . . 49 Introduction to Lessing's Life . 317 

Pantisocracy, 4to. . • • 55 Life of Lessing . . . .314 

17 other works .... 55 Progress of all Nature . . 319 

2 Translations of Modern Latin Principles of Population . . 319 

Poets, 2 vols. 8vo. . . 55 Finishing of Christabel . . 325 

8 Sonnets 61 Letters and condition of German 

A book on Morals, in answer to Boors 327 

Godwin . . . .76 A Comedy 328 

Ob£ran of Wieland (Trans.) . 121 Essay on writing in Newspapers 330 

Ballad. 340 lines . . .131 Essay on Style in Prose and Verse 330 

3 Works, promised . . . 218 Essay on Hall, Milton, and Tay- 

New Review .... 228 lor 330 

Lectures on Female Education . 265 Essay on Johnstone and Gibbon 330 

Odes on the different sentences Book on the subject of Poetry . 330 

of the Lord's Prayer . . 288 Heroic Poem on the Siege of 

Treatise on the Corn Laws . 289 Jerusalem . . . .331 



348 REMINISCENCES OF 

Briefly, dear Wedgewood ! I truly and at heart love you, and of 
course it must add to my deeper and moral happiness to be with 
you, if I can be either assistance or alleviation. If I find myself 
so well that I defer my Madeira plan, I shall then go forthwith to 
Devonshire to see my aged mother, once more before she dies, and 
stay two or three months with my brothers.^' But, wherever I 
I am, I never suffer a day (except when I am travelling) to pass 
without doing something. 

Poole made me promise that I would leave one side for him, 
God bless him ! He looks so worshipful in his office, among his 
clerks, that it would give you a few minutes' good spirits to look 
in upon him. Pray you as soon as you can command your pen, 
give me half a score lines, and now that I am loose , say whether 
or no I can be any good to you. 

8. T. Coleridge." 

*' 16, Abingdon Street, Westminster, Jan. 28, 1804. 
My dear Friend, 

It is idle for me to say to you, that my heart and very soul 
ache with the dull pain of one struck down and stunned. I write 
to you, for my letter cannot give you unmixed pain, and I would 
fain say a few words to dissuade you. What good can possibly 
come of your plan ? Will not the very chairs and furniture of 
your room be shortly more, far more intolerable to you than new 
and changing objects ! more insufferable reflectors of pain and 
weariness of spirit ? Oh, most certainly they will ! You must 
hope, my dearest Wedgewood ; you must act as if you hoped. 
Despair itself has but that advice to give you. Have you ever 
thought of trying large doses of opium, a hot climate, keeping 
your body open by grapes, and the fruits of the climate ?)• 

Is it possible that by drinking freely, you might at last produce 
the gout, and that a violent pain and inflammation in the extrem- 

* An intention not fulfilled. 

t Mr. Thomas Wedgewood visited the continent in 1803, with Mr, Under- 
wood as his travelling companion. He purposed to have proceeded to the 
continent in 1804 ; but his disorders increasing, he retired to his seat, near 
Bland ford, and died July 10, 1805, aged 34. Mr. Coleridge, in vain, recom- 
mended a continental journey. 

Josiah Wedgewood, Esq., died July 13, 1843, aged 74. 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEV. 349 

ities might produce new trains of motion and feeling in your stom- 
ach, and the organs connected with the stomach, known and un- 
known ? Worse than what you have decreed for yourself cannot 
well happen. Say but a word and I will come to you, will be 
with you, will go with you to Malta, to Madeira, to Jamaica, or 
(if the climate of which, and its strange effects, I have heard 
wonders, true or not) to Egypt. 

At all events, and at the worst even, if you do attempt to re- 
alize the scheme of going to and remaining at Gunville, for God's 
sake, my dear, dear friend, do keep up a correspondence with one 
or more ; or, if it were possible for you, with several. I know by 
a little what your suffering are, and that to shut the eyes, and stop 
up the ears, is to give one's self up to storm and darkness, and the 
lurid forms and horrors of a dream. I scarce know why it is ; a 
feeling I have, and which I can hardly understand. I could not 
endure to live if I had not a firm faith, that the life within you 
will pass forth out of the furnace, for that you have borne what 
you have borne, and so acted beneath such pressure — constitutes 
you an awful moral being. I am not ashamed to pray aloud for 
you. Your most affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

"March, 1804. 
My dear Friend, 

Though fearful of breaking in upon you after what you have 
written to me, I could not have left England without having writ- 
ten both to you and your brother, at the very moment I received 
a note from Sharp, informing me that I must instantly secure a 
place in the Portsmouth mail for Tuesday, and if I could not, that 
I must do so in the light coach for Tuesday's early coach. 

I am agitated by many things, and only write now because you 
desired an answer by return of post. I have been dangerously 
ill, but the illness is going about, and not connected with my im- 
mediate ill health, however it may be with my general constitution. 
It was the cholera-morbus. But for a series of the merest acci- 
dents I should have been seized in the streets, in a bitter east 
wind, with cold rain ; at all events have walked through it strug- 
gling. It was Sunday night. 



350 REMINISCENCES OP 



I have suffered it at Tobiii's ; Tobin sleeping out at Woolwich. 
No fire, no wine or spirits, or medicine of any kind, and no person 
being within a call, but luckily, perhaps the occasion would better 
suit the word, providentially, Tuffin calling, took me home with 
him. * * * J tremble at every loud sound I my- 
self utter. But this is rather a history of the past than of the 
present. I have only enough for memento, and already on Wed- 
nesday I consider myself in clear sunshine, without the shadow of 
the wings of the destroying angel. 

What else relates to myself, I wdll w^rite on Monday. Would 
to heaven you w^ere going with me to Malta, if it were but for the 
voyage ! With all other things I could make the passage with an 
unwavering mind. But without cheerings of hope, let me mention 
one thing ; Lord Cadogan ^YRS brought to absolute despair, and 
hatred of life, by a stomach complaint, being now an old man. 
The symptoms, as stated to me, were strikingly like yours, ex- 
cepting the nervous difference of the two characters ; the flitter- 
ing fever, &c. He was advised to reduce lean beef to a pure jelly, 
by Pappin's digester, with as little water as could secure it from 
burning, and of this to take half a wine glass 10 or 14 times a day. 
This and nothing else. He did so. Sir George Beaumont saw, 
within a few weeks, a letter from himself to Lord St. Asaph, in 
which he relates the circumstance of his perseverance in it, and 
rapid amelioration, and final recovery. *I am now,' he says, *in 
real good health ; as good, and in as cheerful spirits as I ever 
was when a young man.' 

May God bless you, even here, 

S. T. Coleridge." 

Mr. Coleridge, in the preceding letters, refers to the different 
states of his health. In the letter dated Jan., 1800, (p. 318.) he 
observes, " I have my health perfectly ;" and in the same letter 
he clearly indicates that he was no stranger to opium, by remark- 
ing, " I have a stomach sensation attached to all my thoughts, like 
those which succeed to the pleasurable operations of a dose of 
opium." I can testify, that during the four or five years in which 
Mr. C. resided in or near Bristol, no young man could enjoy more 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 351 



robust health. Dr. Carlyon^^ also, verbally stated that Mr. C. 
both at Cambridge, and at Gottingen, ''possessed sound health." 
From these premises the conclusion is fair, that Mr. Coleridge's 
unhappy use of narcotics, which commenced thus early, was the 
true cause of all his maladies, his languor, his acute and chronic 
pains, his indigestion, his swellings, the disturbances of his general 
corporeal system, his sleepless nights, and his terrific dreams ! 

Extracts, concerning Mr, Coleridge, from letters of the late 
Thomas Poole, Esq. to the late Thomas Wedgewood, Esq. 

''Stowey, Nov. 14, 1801. 

* * ^ I expect Coleridge here in a week or ten 
days. He has promised to spend two or three months with me. 
I trust this air will re-establish his health, and that I shall restore 
him to his family and his friends a perfect man." 

''Stowey, Nov. 24, 1801. 

* * ^ I now expect daily to see Coleridge. He is 
detained I fear, by a thorn, which he unfortunately took in his 
heel a day or two before he wrote to me his last letter. He 
comes alone. As soon as he is here he shall Avrite to you." 

"Stowey, Nov. 27, 1799. 
^ ^ ^ Coledridge went hence to Bristol, as you 

know, to collect material for his ' School-book.' (Qy. There he 
received a letter concerning Wordsworth's health, which he said 

* Mr. Coleridge, when at the University of Gottingen, found pleasant Eng- 
lish society. With several gentlemen (students) whom he there met, (Dr. 
Parry, the present eminent physician of Bath ; Dr. Carlyon, the no less emi- 
nent physician of Truro ; Captain Parry, the North Pole Navigator ; and Mr. 
Chester.) They together made an excursion to the Hartz mountains. Many 
striking incidents respecting this pedestrian excursion are before the public, in 
Mr. C.'s own letters; and it may here be added, Dr. Carlyon has published a 
work, entitled " Early Years and Late Reflections," which gives among other 
valuable matter, many additional particulars connected with this visit to the 
Brockhen, as well as interesting notices concerning Mr. Coleridge, during his 
residence in Germany. Dr. C. has more recently published a second volume 
with able dissertations, chiefly on Medical Science. 



352 REMINISCENCES OP 

agitated him deeply. He set off immediately for Yorkshire. He 
has since been to the lakes. I suppose we shall soon see him. 

T. P.'' 

"Stowey, March 15, 1804. 

* * * Coleridge is still here Avith Tobin, he has 
taken his passage for Malta and paid half the money, so I con- 
clude his going is fixed. They are waiting for convoy — ^the ' Lap- 
wing' frigate." 

T. P." 

•' 16, Abingdon Street, April 3, 1804. 
My dear Sir, 

^' ^ ^ Poor CoL left London, as I suppose you 
know, and is now at Portsmouth, waiting for convoy. He was 
in a miserable state of health when he left town. Heaven grant 
that this expedition may establish him, body and mind. North- 
cote has been painting his picture for Sir George Beaumont. I 
am told it is a great likeness. Davy is gone to Hungerford for 
the holiday's fishing. ^' * * 

T. Poole. 
T. Wedgewood, Esq." 

Mr. Coleridge remarks, (p. 348,) in his letter to Mr. T. Wedge- 
wood, dated 16 Abingdon Street, London : " Poole looks so wor- 
shipful in his office among his clerks, that it would give you a few 
minutes' good spirits to look in upon him." The following letter 
will explain this allusion. 

'' Stowey, Sept. 14, 1803. 
My dear Sir, 

* * '^ I thank you heartily for your kindness, and 
I will tell you all about my going to London. I became ac- 
quinted with Rickman, whom you saw, when you set off from 
Cote-house with Coleridge and myself, to London, to hear Davy's 
lectures at the Royal Institution. It was last January twelve- 
months. I liked Rickman, and if I may judge from his conduct 
since, he liked me. I saw him frequently when I was in London 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 353 

in May and June last. We often talked about the poor laws, the 
sin of their first principle, their restraints, their contradictions, 
their abuses, their encouragement to idleness, their immense bur- 
dens to those who pay, and their degradation to those who re- 
ceive. On this subject also some letters have passed between us. 

I have long imagined that the principles of benefit societies may 
be extended and modified, so as to remedy the greater part of 
those evils, and I have long had a plan in my mind which 
attempted something of this sort, and which as soon as I had 
leisure I meant to detail in writing, and perhaps to pubhsh. I 
mentioned this to Coleridge when he Avas last with me. He 
mentioned it to Rickman, who wrote to me on the subject. 

Soon after this Sir George Rose introduced a bill into parlia- 
ment for obtaining information from the overseers of every parish, 
concerning the poor, benefit societies, &c. He applied to R.ick- 
man to assist him in framing the bill ; and finally requested him 
to get some one to make an abstract, to present to pai^liament, of 
the returns made by the overseers. This office Rickman has de- 
sired me to undertake. He states to me a variety of inducements ; 
such as my being in London, getting much information on a sub- 
ject which interests me, and in short, I have agreed to undertake 
it. Rickman says it will take me three months. I am to have 
eight clerks under me, or more if I can employ them. He says 
there will be twenty thousand returns. He proposes that my 
expenses should be paid with a douceur of three or otherwise 
four hundred pounds. I stipulated for the former, but told him 
the douceur would be the pleasure, I trusted, of being useful to 
the poor. '' -^' '' T. P." 

This was a rare instance of noble disinterestedness, especially 
in respect of government transactions. 

" London,l6 Abingdon Street, May 24, 1804. 
I saw a letter this morning from Coleridge. It was written to 
Lamb, from Gibraltar. He says his health and spirits are much 
improved, yet still he feels alarming symptoms about him. Hq 
made the passage from England in eleven days. If the wind per- 
mitted, they were to sail in two days for Malta. He says he is 



354 REMINISCENCES OF 



determined to observe n strict regimen, as to eating and drinking. 
He has drunk lately only lemonade, with a very small quantity 
of bottled porter. He anticipates better health than he has en- 
joyed for many years. 

1 heard by accident that Giddy Avas at Davy's. 1 have not 
seen Davy for some time. 

T. P." 

If the public " bide tlieir time," there is one memorial, resem- 
bhng the following, which will infallibly, if not soon, be attached 
to the busiest and the most celebrated name. 

'• On Sept. 8, 1837, at Nether Stowcy, Somersetsliire, Thomas Poole, Esq. 
He was one of the magistrates for that county, the duties of which station he 
discharged through a long course of years with distinguished reputation. Iji 
early Hfe the deceased was intimately associated with Coleridge, Larnh, Sir 
H. Davy, Wordsworth, Southey. and other men of literary endowments, who 
occasionally made long sojournments at his hospitable residence, and in whose 
erudite and philosophical pursuits he felt a kindred delight. His usefulness 
and benevolence have been long recognized, and his loss will be deplored." — 
ExeUr Paper. 

It appears that in the spring of 1816, Mr. Coleridge left Mr. 
Morgan's house at Calne, and in a desolate state of mind, re- 
paired to London ; v;hen the belief remaining strong on his mind, 
that his opium habits would never be effectually subdued till he 
had subjected himself to medical restraint, he called on Dr. 
Adams, an eminent physician, and disclosed to him the whole of 
his painful circumstances, stating what he conceived to be his 
only remedy. The doctor being a humane man, sympathized 
with his patient, and knowing a medical gentleman who resided 
three or four miles from town, who would be likely to undertake 
the charge, he addressed the following letter to Mr. Oilman. 

" Hatton Garden, April 9, 1816. 
Dear Sir, 

A very learned, but in one respect an unfortunate gentleman, has applied 
to me on a singular occasion. He has for several years been in the habit of 
taking large quantities of opium. For some time past he has been endeavor- 
ing to break himself of it. It is apprehended his friends are not firm enough, 
Crom a dread, lest he should suffer by suddenly leaving it off, though he is 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHED. 355 

conscious of the contrary ; and has proposed to me to submit himself to any 
regimen, however severe. With this view he wishes to fix himself in the 
house of some medical gentleman, who will have courage to refuse him any 
laudanum, and under whose assistance, should he be the worse for it, he may 
be relieved. As he is desirous of retirement, and a garden, I could think of 
no one so readily as yourself Be so good as to inform me whether such a 
proposal is inconsistent with your family arrangements. I should not have 
proposed it, but on account of the great importance of the character, as a 
literary man. His communicative temper will make his society very interest- 
ing, as well as useful. Have the goodness to favor me with an immediate 
answer, and believe me, dear sir. 

Your faithful humble servant, 

Joseph Adams." 

The next day Mr. Coleridge called on Mr. Gillman, who was so 
much pleased with his visitor, that it was agreed he should come 
to Highgate the following day. A few hours before his arrival, 
he sent Mr. G. a long letter ; the part relating to pecuniary af- 
fairs ^vas the following : — " With respect to pecuniary remunera- 
tion, allow me to say, I must not at least be suffered to make any 
addition to your family expenses, though I cannot offer anything 
that would be in any way adequate to my sense of the service; 
for that indeed there could not be a compensation, as it must be 
returned in kind by esteem and grateful affection." 

This return of esteem and o-rateful affection for his lodoino- and 

o o o 

board, w^as generously understood and acceded to, by Mr. Gill- 
man, w^hicli to a medical man in large practice, was a small con- 
sideration. Mr. G.'s admiration of Mr. Coleridge's talents soon 
became so enthusiastic, equally creditable to both parties, that he 
provided Mr. Coleridge w4th a comfortable home for nineteen 
years, even unto his death. 

My original intention was, to prepare a memoir as a contribu- 
tion to Mr. Gillman's '' Life of Mr. Coleridge." On my sending 
the MS. to Mr. Southey, he observes, in his ^eply, "I apprehend 
if you send what you have written, about Coleridge and opium, 
it will not be made use of, and that Coleridge's biographer will 
seek to find excuse for the abuse of that drug." 

I afterwards sent the MS. to my friend Mr. Foster, w^io had 
ever taken a deep interest in all that concerns Mr. Coleridge. On 
retumincr it he thus wrote. 



356 REMINISCENCES OF 



" Stapleton, Dec. 19, 1835. 
My clear Sir, 

I have read through your MS. volume, very much to the cost of my eyes, 
but it was impossible to help going on, and I am exceedingly obliged to you 
for favoring me with it ; — the more so as there is no seeing any large propor- 
tion of it in print. It is I think aliout as melancholy an exhibition as I ever 
contemplated. Why was such a sad phenomenon to come in sight on earth ? 
Was it to abase the pride of human intellect and genius 1 

You have done excellently well to collect into a permanent substance what 
must else have gone into oblivion, for no one else could have exhibited even a 
shadow of it. But now, my dear sir, I hope you are prepared with the phi- 
losophy, or by whatever name I should designate the fortitude, — that can pa- 
tiently bear the frustration of the main immediate purpose of -your long, and 
earnest labor. For you may lay your account that the compiler of the pro- 
posed life of Coleridge will admit but a very minor part of what you have 
thus furnished at his request : — that especially he will not admit what you 
feel to be the most important, as an emphatic moral lesson, and what it has 
cost 3^ou the most painful resolution to set faithfully forth. 

No, my dear sir, the operator of the work will not, will not, will not, let the 
illustrious philosopher, genius, and poet, so appear. He will get over that 
stage with a few general expressions, and a few indistinctly presented facts. 
And then as to the dreadful tragical parts, he will prom.ptly decide, that it 
would be utter profanation to expose them to viev/ in any such unveiled 
preminence as you have exhibited in your narrative. And then the solemn 
warning and example will be nearly kept out of sight. Quite naturally that 
this would be the course adopted, unless the compiler were, like yourself, in- 
tent, as his first and highest obligation, on doing faithful homage to truth, 
virtue, and religion. How I despise biography, as the business is commonly 
managed. I cannot believe that Coleridge's dreadful letters of confession will 
be admitted in their own unmodified form ; though they ought to be. 

Most truly yours, 

John Foster." 

These combined intimations led me to stipulate that, whatever 
else was omitted, the opium letters should be printed verbatim. 
But this being promptly refused, I determined to throw my ma- 
terials into a separate work. 

As this is the last time in which Mr. Southey's name will be 
mentioned, it is a debt of justice to subjoin the following honor- 
able testimonials. 

As an evidence of the estimation in which Mr. Southey was 
held, — the distinctions awarded to his memory have had few par- 
allels. His friends at Keswick, among whom he resided for 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHEY. 357 

thirty years, erected to him in their Church a noble monument, 
as a permanent memorial of their respect. His friends, in Lon- 
don, placed his bust in Westminster Abbey. Whilst another set 
of his friends in Bristol (his native city) from respect to his 
genius, and in admiration of his character, placed a bust of him 
in their own Cathedral. 

PRAYER OF S. T. COLERIDGE, WRITTEN IN 1831. 

Almighty God, by thy eternal Word, my Creator, Redeemer, 
and Preserver ! who hast in thy communicative goodness glorified 
me with the capability of knowing thee, the only one absolute 
God, the eternal I Am, as the author of my being, and of desir- 
ing and seeking thee as its ultimate end ; — who when I fell from 
thee into the mystery of the false and evil will, didst not abandon 
me, poor self-lost creature, but in thy condescending mercy didst 
provide an access and a return to thyself, even to the Holy One, 
in thine only begotten Son, the way and the truth from everlast- 
ing, and who took on himself humanity, yea, became flesh, even 
the man Christ Jesus, that for man he might be the life and re- 
surrection ! — 0, Giver of all good gifts, who art thyself the only 
absolute Good, from w^hom I have received whatever good I 
have, whatever capability of good there is in me, and from thee 
good alone, — from myself and my own corrupted will all evil, and 
the consequences of evil, — with inward prostration of will, mind, 
and affections I adore thy infinite majesty ; I aspire to love thy 
transcendent goodness ! 

In a deep sense of my unworthiness, and my unfitness to pre- 
sent myself before thee, of eyes too pure to behold iniquity, and 
whose light, the beatitude of spirits conformed to thy will, is a 
consuming fire to all vanity and corruptions ; — but in the name of 
the Lord Jesus, of the dear Son of thy love, in Avhose perfect 
obedience thou deignest to behold as many as have received the 
seed of Christ into the body of this death ; — I offer this my 
bounden nightly sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, in humble 
trust that the fragrance of my Saviour's righteousness may re- 
move from it the taint of my mortal corruption. Thy mercies 
have followed me through all the hours and moments of my life ; 
and now I hft up my heart in awe and thankfulness for the pres- 



358 REMINISCENCES OP 

ervation of my life through the past day, for the alleviation of 
my bodily sufferings and languors, for the manifold comforts 
which thou hast reserved for me, yea, in thy fatherly compassion 
hast rescued from the wreck of my own sins or sinful infirmities ; 
— for the kind and affectionate friends thou hast raised up for me, 
especially for those of this household, for the mother and mistress 
of this family, whose love to me has been great and faithful, and 
for the dear friend the supporter and sharer of my studies 
and researches ; but above all for the heavenly Friend, the cruci- 
fied Saviour, the glorified Mediator, Christ Jesus, and for the 
heavenly Comforter, source of all abiding comforts, thy Holy 
Spirit ! that I may with a deeper faith, a more enkindled love, 
bless thee, who through thy Son hast privileged me to call thee 
Abba Father ! O thou who hast revealed thyself in thy word as 
a God that hearest prayer ; before whose infinitude all differences 
cease, of great and small ; who like a tender parent foreknowest 
all our wants, yet listenest well-pleased, to the humble petitions 
of thy children ; who hast not alone permitted, but taught us to 
call on thee in all our needs, — earnestly I implore the continuance 
of thy free mercy, of thy protecting providence through the 
coming night. 

Thou hearest every prayer offered to thee believingly with a 
penitent and sincere heart. For thou in withholding grantest, 
healest in inflicting the wound, yea, turnest all to good for as 
many as truly seek thee through Christ the Mediator ! Thy will 
be done ! But if it be according to thy wise and righteous or- 
dinances, O shield me this night from the assaults of disease, 
grant me refreshment of sleep, unvexed by evil and distempered 
dreams ; and if the purpose and aspiration of my heart be upright 
before thee who alone knowest the heart of man, 0, in thy mercy, 
vouchsafe me yet in this my decay of life, an interval of ease and 
strength, if so — thy grace disposing and assisting — I may make 
compensation to thy church for the unused talents thou hast in- 
trusted to me, for the neglected opportunities which thy loving- 
kindness had provided. let me be found a laborer in thy vine- 
yard, though of the late hour, when the Lord and Heir of the 
vintage, Christ Jesus calleth for his servant 

S. T. C." 



S. T. COLERIDGE AND R. SOUTHED. 359 

Mr. Coleridge wrote, in his life-time, his own epitaph as fol- 
lows : — 

" Stop, christian passer-by: stop, child of God, 
And read, with gentle breast. Beneath this sod 
A poet lies, or that which once seemed he — 
O, lift a thought in prayer for S. T. C. 
That he who many a year with toil of breath 
Found death in life, may here find life in death ; 
Mercy for praise — to be forgiven for fome 
He asked, and hoped through Christ. Do thou the same." 

A handsome tablet, erected in Highgate New Church, to his 
memory, bears the following inscription : — • 

" Sacred to the Memory of 
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, 

Poet, Philosopher, Theologian. 

This truly great and good man resided for 

The last nineteen years of his life, 

In this Hamlet. 
He quitted ' the body of his death,' 

July 2.5th, 1834, 

In the sixty-second year of his age. 

Of his profound learning and discursive genius, 

His literary works are an imperishable record. 

To his private worth. 

His social and Christian virtues, 

James and Ann Gillman, 

The friends with whom he resided 

During the above period, dedicate this tablet. 

Under the pressure of a long 

And most painful disease. 

His disposition was unalterably sweet and angelic. 

He was an ever-enduring, ever-loving friend. 

The gentlest and kindest teacher, * 

The most engaging home-companion. 

* Oh, framed for calmer times and nobler hearts ; 
O studious poet, eloquent for truth ! 
Philosopher contemning wealth and death, 
Yet docile, child-like, full of life and love.' 

Here, 

On this monumental stone, thy friends inscribe thy worth. 

Reader, for the world mourn. 



360 REMINISCENCES, ETC. 



A Light has passed away from the earth ! 

But for this pious and exalted Christian, 

' Rejoice, and again I say unto you, rejoice!' " 

Ubi 

Thesaurus 

ibi 

Cor. 

S. T. C. 



APPENDIX. 



JOHN HENDERSON. 

The name of John Henderson having appeared in several parts of the 
preceding memoir, and as, from his early death, he is not known in the Lite- 
rary World, I shall here present the reader with a brief notice of this extraor- 
dinary man, (reduced from the longer account which appeared in my "Mal- 
vern Hills," &c.) 

John Henderson was born at Limerick, but came to England early in life 
with his parents. From the age of three years he discovered the presages of 
a great mind. Without retracing the steps of his progression, a general idea 
may be formed of them, from the circumstance of his having iprofeisionaUy 
TAUGHT Greek and Latin in a public Seminary* at the age of twelve years. 

Some time after, his father (a man of expanded heart and enhghtened 
understanding, every way worthy of his son) commencing a Boarding-school 
in the neighborhood of Bristol, young Henderson undertook to teach the clas- 
sics : which he did with much reputation, extending, at the same tim.e, his 
own knowledge in the sciences and general literature, to a degree that ren- 
dered him a prodigy of intelligence. 

At the age of eighteen, by an intensity of application of which few persons 
can conceive, he had not only thoughtfully perused all the popular English 
authors, of a later date, but taken an extensive survey of foreign literature. 
He had also waded through the folios of the Schoolmen, as well as scruti- 
nized, with the minutest attention, into the more obsolete writers of the last 
three centuries ; preserving, at the same time, a distinguishing sense of their 
respective merits, particular sentiments, and characteristic traits ; which, on 
proper occasions, he commented upon, in a manner that astonished the 
learned listener, not more by his profound remarks, than by his cool and 
sententious eloquence. 

So surprisingly retentive was his memory, that he never forgot what he 
had once learned ; nor did it appear that he ever suffered even an image to 
be effaced from his mind ; whilst the ideas which he had so rapidly accumu- 
lated, existed in his brain, not as a huge chaos, but as to clear and well- 
organized systems, illustrative of every subject, and subservient to every call. 

* Trevecka, a college established by Lady Huntingdon 
16 



3G2 ^ APPENDIX. 



It was this quality which made him so superior a disputant ; for as his mind 
had investigated the various sentiments and hypotheses of men, so had his 
almost intuitive discrimination stripped tiiem or their deceptive appendages, 
and separated fallacies from truth, marshalling their arguments, so as to eluci- 
date or detect each other. But in all his disputations, it was an invariable 
maxim with him never to interrupt the most tedious or confused opponents, 
though, from his pithy questions, he made it evident, thatj from the first, he 
anticipated the train and consequences of their reasonings. 

His favorite studies were. Philology, History, Astronomy, Medicine, Tlie- 
ology. Logic, and Metaphysics, with all the branches of Natural and Experi- 
mental Philosophy; and that his attainments were not superficial, will be 
readily admitted by those who knew him best. As a Linguist, he was ac- 
quainted with the Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin languages ; 
together with the French, Spanish, Italian, and German ; and he not only 
knew their ruling principles and predominant distinctions, so as to read them 
with facility, but in the greater part conversed liuently. 

About the age of twenty-two, he accidentally met v/ith the acute and 
learned Dr. Tucker, Dean of Gloucester, in a stage-coach, \yho soon discov- 
ered the superiority of his companion, and after a reasonable acquaintance, 
in which the opinion he had at first entertained of John Henderson's surpris- 
ing genius was amply confirmed, he wrote to his father, urging him to send a 
young man of such distinguished talents to an University, where only they 
could expand, or be rightly appreciated; and, in the most handsome way, he 
accompanied this request with a present of two hundred pounds. Such an 
instance of generosity will confer lasting credit on the name of D.ean Tucker. 

On John Henderson's arrival at Oxford, he excited no small degree of sur- 
prise among his tutors, who very naturally inquired his reason for appearing 
at that place, and, as might be supposed, were soon contented to learn, where 
they had been accustomed to teeich.* 

It might be stated also, the late Edmund Rack, a gentleman possessed of 
much general knowledge and antiquarian research, and whose materials for 
the "History of Somersetshire," formed the acknowledged basis of Collinson's 
valuable History of that county, thus expressed himself, in writing to a friend 
in London. 

" My friend, Henderson, has lately paid me a |dsit, and staid with me three 
weeks. I never spent a three weeks so happily, or so profitably. He is the 
only person I ever knew who seems to be a complete master of every subject 
in literature, arts, sciences, natural philosophy, divinity ; and of all the books, 
ancient and modern, that engage the attention of the learned ; but it is still 
more wonderful, that at the age of twelve, he should have been master of the 
Latin and Greek; to which he subsequently added the Hebrew, ItaHan, 

' After John Henderson's acquaintance and friendship had been matured with Dean 
Tucker, he informed a particular friend, the Rev. James Newton, " that whenever he was 
in the company of young Henderson, he considered himself as a scholar in the presence 
of his tutor." The late Robert Hall also well knew John Henderson, and in the lattor 
part of his life, referring to him, told me that he considered John Henderson to have been 
a prodigy, and that, when in his company, he always considered himself as a pupil. 



APPENDIX. 363 



Spanish, German, Persian, and Syriac languages ; and also all the ancient 
rabbinical learning of the Jews, and the divinity of the fathers ; this was, 
however, the case. The learned Dr. Kennicott told me, four years since, 
' That the greatest men he ever knew were mere children, compared to Hen- 
derson.' In Company he is ever new. You never hear a repetition of what 
he has said before. His memory never fails, and his fund of knowledge is 
inexhaustible." 

Dr. Kennicott (before whom nothing superficial could have stood for a mo- 
ment) died in the year 1783, and John Henderson, at the time Dr. K. passed 
on him this eulogium, could have been only twenty-three years of age ! One 
year after he had entered at Oxford. 

Though not of the higher order of attainments, it may not be improper to 
mention his singular talent for Imitation. He could not only assume the 
dialect of every foreign country, but the particular tone of every district of 
England so perfectly, that he might have passed for a native of either : and 
of the variations of the human accent in different individuals, his recollection 
was so acute, and t];ie modulation of his voice so varied, that, having once 
conversed with a person, he could most accurately imitate his gestures and 
articulation forever after.* » 

No man had more profoundly traced the workings of the human heart than 

himself A long observation on the causes and effects of moral action, with 

" their external symbols, had matured his judgment in estimating the characters 

of men, and from the fullest evidence, confirmed him in a belief of the Science 

of Physiognomy, 

Though the -'Physiognomical Sensation," in a greater or less degree, may 
exist in all, yet the data which support it are so obscure, and at all times so 
diflficult to be defined, that if nature does not make the Physiognomist, study 
never will : and to be skilled in this science requires the combination of such 
rare talents, that it cannot excite wonder, either that the unskilful should fre- 
quently err, or that the multitude should despise, what they know they can 
never attain. 

But John Henderson's discrimination qualified him to speak of all persons, 
in judging from their countenances, with an almost infallible certainty : he 
discovered, in his frequent decisions, not an occasional development of char- 
acter, but a clear perception of the secondary as well as predominant tenden- 
cies, of the mind, 

" Making his eye the inmate of each bosom." 

Coleridge. 

* A German at Oxford was once much frightened by coming into the room while John 
Henderson was exercising his mimicry ; for, as he protested, he thought he heard himself 
talking at a distance. No person needed to have gone -out of Henderson's company to 
have heard and almost seen Dr. Johnson. During one of the Doctor's annual visits to 
Oxford, Henderson and he one evening, for several hours, amused those around them, by 
conversing expressly in hard words. It was generally adm.itted that Jolm Henderson 
discovered the greater talent at this verbal forgery. And to meet the Doctor on his own 
ground, \f as indeed a presumptuous thing. Their conversations in Latin (often extending 
through a whole evening) were deemed si)lendid, as they were classically chaste. Dr. 



364 APPENDIX. 



It would appear like divination, if John Henderson's friends were to state 
the various instances they have known of that quick discernment which he 
possessed, that, as it were, penetrated the veil of sense, and unfolded to him 
the naked and unsophisticated quahties of the soul. There are many who 
will cordially admit the fact, when it is said, that his eye was scarcely the eye 
of a man. There was a luminousness in it — a calm but piercing character, 
which seemed to partake more of the nature of spirit than of humanity. 

His conversation was such as might have been expected from a man whose 
fancy was so creative, whose knowledge omnifarious, and whose recollection 
so unbounded. He combined scholastic accuracy with unaffected ease ; con- 
densed and pointed, yet rich and perspicuous. Were it possible for his numer- 
ous friends, by any energy of reminiscence, to collect his discourse, John 
Henderson would be distinguished as a voluminous author, who yet preserved 
a Spartan frugality of words. 

His contemporaries at Oxford well remember the enthusiasm with wliich 
every company received him; and his friends in that University, consisted 
of all who were eminent for either talent or virtue. 

It would be injustice to his memory not to mention the great marks of at- 
tention which were paid him, and the high estimation in which he was held 
by the late Edmund Burke and Dr. Johnson ; the former of whom strenuously 
urged him either to apply to the bar, or to the church, and told him, that, in 
that case, it was impossible to doubt, but that he would become either a judge 
or a bishop. Such was the great lexicographer's admiration, also, of John 
Henderson, that in his annual visits to Oxford, to whatever company he was 
invited, he always stipulated for the introduction of his young friend, John 
Henderson,* which, in the result, converted a favor into an obUgation. It 
might be named also, that many of the heads of colleges and other eminent 
characters, habitually attended his evening parties; an honor unknown to 
have been conferred before on any other undergraduate. 

So great was John Henderson's regard for truth, that he considered it a 
crime, of no ordinary magnitude, to confound in any one, even for a moment, the 
perceptions of right and wrong ; of truth and falsehood ; he therefore never 
argued in defence of a position which his understanding did not cordially ap- 
prove, unless in some unbending moment, he intimated to those around him, 
that he wished to see how far error could be supported, in which case he 
would adopt the weakesst side of any question, and there, intrenched, like an 
intellectual veteran, bid defiance to the separate or combined attacks of all 
who approached him. 

On these occasions it was highly interesting to remark the felicity of his 
illustration, together with his profound logical acuteness, that knew how to 
grant or deny, and both, it may be, with reference to some distant stage of 
the argument, when the application was made with an unexpected, but con- 
clusive effect. 

Adams, it was said, was the only man in Oxford who approximated toward an equalit>» 
with John Henderson in Latin colloquisms. 
* His rooms, at Pembroke College, were those which had been occupied by Dr. Johnson. 



APPENDIX. 365 



From possessing this rare faculty of distinguishing the immediate, as well 
as of tracing the remote, consequences of every acknowledgment ; and, by 
his peculiar talent at casuistic subtleties, he has been frequently known to ex- 
tort the most erroneous concessions, from men distinguished for erudition and 
a knowledge of polemic niceties, necessarily resulting from premises unguard- 
edly admitted. 

Henderson's chief strength in disputation seemed to consist in this clear 
view in which he beheld the diversified bearings of every argument, with its 
precise congruity to the question in debate ; and which, whilst it demonstrated 
the capacity of his own mind, conferred on him, on all occasions, a decided 
and systematic superiority. It must, however, be granted that when contend- 
ing for victory, or rather for the mere sharpening of his faculties, instead of 
convinicng, he not unfrequently confounded his opponent ; but whenever he 
had thus casually argued, and had obtained an acknowledged confutation, 
lilie an ingenious mechanic, he never failed to organize the discordant materi- 
als, and to do homage to truth, by pointing out his own fallacies, or otherwise, 
by formally re-confuting his antagonist. 

It might be expected that, by such a conduct, an unpleasant impression 
would sometimes be left on the mind of an unsuccessful disputant, but this 
effect is chiefly produced when the power of the combatants is held nearly in 
equilibrium ; no one, however, considered it a degradation to yield to John 
Henderson, and the pecuhar dehcacy of his mind was manifested in nothing 
more than in the gracious manner with which he indulged in these corusca- 
tions of argument. He obtained a victory without being vain, or even, from 
his perfect command of countenance, appearing sensible of it; and, unless he 
happened to be disputing with pedantry and conceit, with a dignified con- 
sciousness of strength, he never pursued an enemy who was contented to fly, 
by which means a defeat was often perceived rather than felt, and the van- 
quished forgot his own humiliation in applauding the generosity of the con- 
queror. 

In all companies he led the conversation ; yet though he was perpetually 
encircled by admirers, his steady mind decreased not its channs, by a supercil- 
ious self-opinion of them; nor did he assume that as*a riglit which the wishes 
of his friends rendered a duty. He led the conversation, for silence or dimin- 
ished discourse, in him, would have been deservedly deemed vanity, as though 
he had desired to make his friends feel the value of his instructions from the 
temporary loss of them. But in no instance was his superiority oppressive ; 
calm, attentive, and cheerful, he confuted more gracefully than others compH- 
ment ; the tone of dogmatism and the smile of contempt were equally un- 
known to him. Sometimes indeed he raised himself stronger and more lofty 
in his eloquence, then chiefly, when, fearful for his weaker brethren, he op- 
posed the arrogance of the iUiterate deist, or the worse jargon of sensual and 
cold-blooded atheism. He knew that the clouds of ignorance which envel- 
oped their understandings, steamed up from the pollutions of their hearts, and 
crowding his sails, he bore down upon them with salutary violence. 

But the qualities which most exalted John Henderson in the estimation of 



366 APPENDIX. 

nis friends, were his high sense of honor, and the great benevolence of his 
heart; not that honor which originates in a jealous love of the world's praise, 
nor that benevolence which delights only in publicity of well-doing. His 
honor was the anxious delicacy of a Christian, who regarded his soul as a 
sacred pledge, that must sometime be re-delivered to the Almighty lender ; his 
benevolence a circle, in which self indeed might be the centre, but all that 
lives was the circumference. This tribute of respect to thy name and virtues, 
my beloved Henderson ! is paid by one, who was once proud to call thee tutor 
and friend, and who will do honor to thy memory, till his spirit rests with 
thine. 

Those who were unacquainted with John Henderson's character, may 
naturally ask, " What test has he left the world of the distinguished talents 
thus ascribed to him V None ! He cherished a sentiment, which, whilst it 
teaches humility to the proud, explains the cause of that silence so generally 
regretted. Upon the writer of this brief notice once expressing to him some 
regret at his not having benefited mankind by the result of his deep and 
varied investigations, — he replied, " More men become writers from igno- 
rance, than from knowledge, not knowing that they have been anticipated by 
others. Let us decide with caution, and write late." Thus the vastness and 
variety of his acquirements, and the diffidence of his own mental maturity, 
alike prevented him from illuminating mankind, till death called him to graduate 
in a sphere more favorable to the range of his soaring and comprehensive mind. 
— He died on a visit to Oxford, in November, 1788, in the 32d year of his age. 

Few will doubt but that the possession of pre-eminent colloquial talents, to 
a man like John Henderson, in whom so amply dwelt the spirit of original- 
ity, must be considered, on the whole, as a misfortune, and as tending to sub- 
tract from the permanency of his reputation ; he wisely considered posthu- 
mous fame as a vain and undesirable bubble, unless founded on utility ; but 
when it is considered that no man was better qualified than himself to con- 
found vice and ennoble virtue, to unravel the mazes of error, or vindicate the 
pretensions of truth, it must generally excite a poignant regret, that abilities like 
his should have been dissipated on one generation, which by a different appli- 
cation, might have charmed and enlightened futurity. 

It is however by no means to be concluded that he would not have written, 
and written extensively, if he had attained the ordinary age of man, but he 
whose sentiments are considered as oracular, whose company is incessantly 
sought by the wise and honorable, and who never speaks but to obtain imme- 
diate applause, often sacrifices the future to the present, and evaporates his 
distinguished talents in the single morning of life. 

But whilst we ascribe attributes to John Henderson which designate the 
genius or illustrate the scholar, we must not forget another quality which he 
eminently possessed, which so fundamentally contributes to give stabihty to 
friendship, and to smooth the current of social life, — a suavity of manner, 
connected with a gracefulness of deportment, which distinguished him on all 
occasions. 

His participation of the feelings of others, resulting from great native sensi- 



APPENDIX. 367 



bility, although it never produced in his conduct undue complacency, yet in- 
variably suggested to him that nice point of propriety in behavior which 
was suitable to different characters, and appropriate to the various situations 
in which he might be placed. Nor was his sense of right a barren percep- 
tion. What the soundness oT his understanding instructed him to app''ove, 
tlie benevolence of his heart taught him to practise. In his respectful ap- 
proaches to the peer, he sustained his dignity ; and in addressing the beggar, 
he remembered he was speaking to a man. 

It would be wrong to close this brief account of John Henderson, without 
naming two other excellences with which he was eminently endowed. First, 
the ascendency he had acquired over his temper. There are moments in 
which most persons are susceptible of a transient irritability, but the oldest of 
his friends never beheld him otherwise tlxan calm and collected. It was a 
condition he retained under all circumstances,* and which, to those over 
whom he had any influence, he never failed forcibly to inculcate, together 
with that unshaken firmness of mind which encounters the unavoidable mis- 
fortunes of life without repining, and that from the noblest principle, a con- 
\iction that they are regulated by Him who cannot err, and who in his sever- 
est allotments designs only our ultimate good. In a letter from Oxford, to my 
brother Amos, his late pupil, for whom John Henderson always entertained 
the highest esteem, he thus expresses himself: " See tliat you govern your 
passions. What should grieve us but our infirmities '? What make us angry 
but our own faults 1 A man who knows he is mortal, and tluit all the world 
will pass away, and by-and-by seem only like a tale — a sinner who knows 
his sufferings are all less than his sins, and designed to break him from them — 
one who knows that everything in this v/orld is a seed that will have its fruit 
in eternity— that GOD is the best, the only good friend — that in Him is all 
we want — that everything is ordered for the best — so that it could not be 
better, however we take it ; he who believes this in his heart is happy. Such 
be you — may you always fare well, my dear Amos, — be the friend of GOD ! 
again farewell." 

The other excellence referred to, was the simplicity and condescension of 
his manners. From the gigantic stature of his understanding, he v/as pre- 
pared to trample down his pigmy competitors, and qualified at all times to 
enforce his unquestioned pre-eminence ; but his mind was conciliating, his 
behavior unassuming, and his bosom the receptacle of all the social affec- 
tions. 

* As a proof of his self-conmiand, the following incident may be adduced. During his 
"esidence at Oxford, a student of a neighboring college, proud of his logical acquirements, 
was solicitous of a private disputation with the renowned Henderson. Some mutual 
friends introduced him, and having chosen his subject, they conversed for some time with 
equal candor and moderation ; but at length Henderson's antagonist, perceiving his con- 
futation inevitable, in the height of passion, threw a full glass of wine in John Hender- 
son's face. J. H., without altering his features or changing his position, gently wiped his 
face, and then coolly replied, "This, sir, is a digression; now for the argument." It is 
hardly necess§iry to add, the insult was resented by the company turning the aggressor out 
of the room. 



368 APPENDIX. 



It is these virtues ulone which can disarm superiority of its terrors, and 
make the eye which is raised in wonder, beam at the same moment with affec- 
tion. There have been intellectual, as well as civil despots, whose motto 
seems to have been, " Let them hate provided^ they fear." Such men may 
triumph in their fancied distinctions ; but they will never, as was John Hen- 
derson, be followed by the child, loved by the ignorant, and yet emulated by 
the wise. 



ROWLEY AND CHATTERTON. 

The following is an extract from the extended view of the question between 
Rowley and Chatterton, which appeared in my " Malvern Hills," &c (Vol. 
I. p. 273.) 

* * * -^ * * * 

* * " Whoever examines the conduct of Chatterton, will find 
that he was pre-eminently influenced by one particular disposition of mind, 
which was, through an excess of ingenuity, to impose on the credulity of 
others. This predominant quality elucidates his character, and is deserving 
of minute regard by all who wish to form a correct estimate of the Rowleian 
controversy. A few instances of it are here recapitulated. 

1st. The Rev. Mr. Catcott once noticed to Chatterton the inclined position 
of Temple church, in the city of Bristol. A few days after, the blue-coat boy 
brought him an old poem, transcribed, as he declared, from Rowley, who had 
noticed the same peculiarity in his day, and had moreover written a few stan- 
zas on the very subject. 

2ndly. A new bridge is just completed over the river Avon, at Bristol, when 
Chatterton sends to the printer a genuine description, in antiquated language, 
of the passing over the old bridge, for the first time, in the thirteenth century, 
on which occasion two songs are chanted, by two saints, of whom nothing 
was known, and expressed in language precisely the same as Rowley's, 
though he lived two hundred years after this event. 

3rdly. Mr. Burgham, the pewterer, is credulous, and from some whimsical 
caprice in his nature, is attached to heraldic honors. Chatterton, who ap- 
proaches every man on his blind side, presents him with his pedigree, consecu- 
tively traced from the time of William the Conqueror, and coolly allies him to 
some of the noblest houses in the kingdom ! 

4thly. Mr. Burgham, with little less than intuitive discernment, is one of the 
first persons who expresses a firm opinion of the authenticity and excellence 
of Rowley's Poems. Chatterton, pleased with this first blossom of success, 



APPENDIX. 369 



and from which he presaged an abundant harvest, with an elated and grate- 
ful heart, presents him (together with other testimonials) with the ' Romaunte 
of the Cnyghte,' a poem written by John De Burgham, one of his own illus- 
trious ancestors, who was the great ornament of a period, four hundred and 
fifty years antecedent ; and the more effectually to exclude suspicion, he ac- 
companies it with the same poem, modernized by himself! 

5thly. Chatterton wishes to obtain the good opinion of his relation, Mr. 
Stephens, leather-breeches maker of Salisbury, and, from some quality, which 
it is possible his keen observation had noticed in this Mr. Stephens, he deems 
it the most effectual way, to flatter his vanity, and accordingly tells him, with 
great gravity, that he traces his descent from Fitz- Stephen, son of Stephen, 
Earl of Ammerle, who was son of Od, Earl of Bloys, and Lord of Holderness, 
who flourished about A.D. 1095 ! 

6thly. The late Mr. George Catcott, (to whom the public are so much in- 
debted for the preservation of Rowley) is a very worthy and reUgious man, 
when Chattertoii, who has implements for all work, and commodities for all 
customers, like a skilful engineer, adapts the style of his attack to the nature 
of the fortress, and presents him with the fragment of a sermon, on the divin- 
ity of the Holy Spirit, as ' wroten by Thomas Rowley.' 

7thly. Mr. Barrett is zealous to estabhsh the antiquity of Bristol. As a 
demonstrable evidence, Chatterton presents him with an escutcheon (on the 
authority of the same Thomas Rowley) borne by a Saxon, of the name of 
Ailward, who resided in Bristow, A.D. 718. 

8thly. Mr. Barrett is also writing a comprehensive History of Bristol, and 
is solicitous to obtain every scrap of information relating to so important a 
subject. In the ear of Chatterton he expressed his anxiety, and suggested to 
him the propriety of his examining all Rowley's multifarious manuscripts 
with great care for an object of such weight. 

Soon after this, the blue-coat boy came breathless to Mr. Barrett, uttering, 
like one of old, ' I have found it !' He now presented the historian with two or 
three notices, (in his oion hand-writings copied, as he declared^ faithfully from 
the originals,) of some of the ancient Bristol churches ; of course, wholly above 
suspicion, for they were in the true old English style. These communications 
were regarded as of inestimable value, and the lucky finder promised to in- 
crease his vigilance, in ransacking the whole mass of antique documents for 
fresh disclosures. It was not long before other important scraps were dis- 
covered, conveying just the kind of information which Mr. Barrett wanted, 
till, ultimately, Chatterton furnished him with many curious particulars con- 
cerning the castle, and every church and chapel in the city of Bristol ! and 
these are some of the choicest materials of Mr. Barrett's otherwise valuable 
history ! 

9thly. Public curiosity and general admiration are excited by poems, af- 
firmed to be from the Erse of Ossian. Chatterton, with characteristic prompti- 
tude, instantly pubhshes, not imitations, but a succession of genuine transla- 
tions from the Saxon and Welsh, with precisely the same language and im- 
agery, though the Saxon and Welsh were derived from different origins, the 

16^ 



370 APPENDIX. 



Teutonic and Celtic, (which Bishop Percy has most satisfactorily shown in 
his able and elaborate preface to ' Mallet's Northern Antiquities,') and whose 
poetry, of all their writings, was the most dissimilar ; as will instantly appear 
to all who compare Taliessin, and the other Welsh bards, with the Scandina- 
vian Edda of Saemond. 

lOthly. Mr. Walpole is writing the history of British painters; Chatterton, 
(who, to a confidential friend, had expressed an opinion that it was possible, 
by dexterous management, to deceive even this master in antiquities,) with 
full confidence of success, transmits to him ' An Account of eminent Carvel- 
lers and Peyncters who flourished in Bristol, and other parts of England, three 
hundred years ago, collected for Master Canynge, by Thomas Rowley !' 

Chatterton's communication furnishes an amusing specimen of the quaint 
language with which this beardless boy deceived the old antiquarian. It com- 
mences thus : 

' Peyncteynge ynn Englande, haveth of ould time bin in use ; for sayeth 
the Roman wryters, the Brytonnes dyd depycte themselves yn soundry wyse, 
of the fourmes of the sonne and moone, wythe the hearbe woade : ajbeytte I 
doubt theie were no skylled carvellers,' &c., &c. 

Mr. Walpole was so completely imposed upon, that, in his reply, without 
entertaining the slightest suspicion of the authenticity of the document, he 
reasons upon it as valid, and says, ' You do not point out the exact time when 
Rowley lived, which I wish to know, as I suppose it was long before John al 
Ectry's discovery of oil painting ; if so, it confirms what I have guessed, and 
have hinted in my anecdotes, that oil painting was known here much earlier 
than that discovery, or revival.' 

Another important argument, may be adduced from the following reflection : 
all the poets who thus owe their existence to Chatterton, write in the same 
harmonious style, and display the same tact and superiority of genius. Other 
poets living in the same, or different ages, exhibit a wide diversity in judg- 
ment, fancy, and the higher creative faculty of imagination, so that a discrim- 
inating mind can distinguish an individual character in almost every separate 
writer ; but here are persons living in diff'erent ages ; moving in different sta- 
tions ; exposed to diff*erent circumstances ; and expressing diff"erent senti' 
ments ; yet all of whom betray the same peculiar habits, with the same talents 
and facihties of composition. This is evident, whether it be — 



The Abbatte John, living in the year 


1186 


Seyncte Baldwin - - - , 


1247 


Seyncte Warbiirgie 


1247 


John de Burgham - - - . 


1320 


The Ravvfe Cheddar Chappmanne 


1356 


Syr Thybbot Gorges 


1440 


Syr Wm. Canynge - - - 


1469 


Thomas Rowley 


1479 


Carpenter, Bishoppe of Worcester 




Ecca, Bishoppe of Hereforde 




Elmar, Bishoppe of Selseie 




John Ladgate, or 




Mayster John a Iscam. 





APPENDIX 371 



And the whole of these poets, with the exception of Ladgate, completely un- 
known to the world, till called from their dormitory by Chatterton ! Such a 
fact would be a phenomenon unspeakably more inexplicable than that of 
ascribing Rowley to a youth of less than sixteen, who had made ' Antique 
Lore' his peculiar study, and who was endued with precocious, and almost 
unlimited genius. 

Those who are aware of the transitions, and fluctuation, which our lan- 
guage experienced in the intermediate space comprised between Chaucer and 
Sir Thomas More ; and still greater between Robert of Gloucester, 1278, and 
John Trevisa, or his contemporary Wickliffe, who died 1384, know, to a cer- 
tainty, that the writers enumerated by Chatterton, without surmounting a 
physical impossibility, could not have written in the same undeviating style. 

Perhaps it may be affirmed that numerous old parchments were obtained 
from the Muniment Room or elsewhere. This fact is undeniable ; but they 
are understood to consist of ancient ecclesiastical deeds, as unconnected with 
poetry, as they were with galvanism. 

Let the dispassionate inquirer ask himself, whether he thinks it possible for 
men, living in distant ages, when our language was unformed, and therefore 
its variations the greater, to write in the same style 1 Whether it was possi- 
ble for the Abbatte John, composing in the year 1188, when the amalgama- 
tion of the Saxon and the Norman formed an almost inexplicable jargon, to 
write in a manner, as to its construction, intimately resembhng that now in 
vogue ? On the contrary, how easy is the solution, when we admit that the 
person who wrote the first part of the " Battle of Hastings," and the death 
of " Syr Charles Bawdin," wrote also the rest. 

Does it not appear marvellous, that the learned advocates of Rowley should 
not have regarded the ground on which they stood as somewhat unstable, 
when they found Chatterton readily avow that he wrote the first part of the 
" Battle of Hastings," and discovered the second, as composed three hundred 
years before by Thomas Rowley 1 This was indeed an unparalleled coinci- 
dence. A boy writes the commencement of a narrative poem, and then finds 
in the Muniment Room, the second part or a continuation, by an old secular 
priest, with the same characters, written in the same style, and even in the 
same metre ! 

Another extraordinary feature in the question, is the following : there are 
preserved in the British Museum, numerous deeds and proclamations, by 
Thomas Rowley, in Chatterton's writing, relating to the antiquities of Bristol, 
all in modern EngHsh, designed no doubt, by the young bard, for his friend 
Mr. Barrett ; but the chrysalis had not yet advanced to its winged state. 

One of the proclamations begins thus : 

" To all christian people to whom this indented writing shall come, William 
Canynge, of Bristol, merchant, and Thomas Rowley, priest, send greeting : 
Whereas certain disputes have arisen between," (fee, &c. 

Who does not perceive that these were the first rough sketches of genuine 
old documents that were to be? 

In an account of " St. Marie Magdalene's Chappele, by Thomas Rowley," 



372 APPENDIX. 



deposited also in the British Museum, there is the following sentence, which 
imphes much : "^Ue, the founder thereof, was a manne myckle stronge yn 
vanquysheynge the Danes, as yce maie see ynne mie unwordie Entrylude of 
Ella!" 

It is Rome or Carthage. It is Rowley or Chatterton : and a hope is cher- 
ished, that the public, from this moment, will concur in averring that there is 
neither internal nor external evidence, to authorize the belief that a single 
line of either the prose or the verse, attributed to Rowley, or the rest of his 
apochryphal characters, was written by any other than that prodigy of the 
eighteenth century, Thomas Chatterton. 

The opinion entertained by many, that Chatterton found part of Rowley, 
and invented the rest, is attended with insurmountable objections, and is never 
advanced but in the deficiency of better argument ; for in the first place, those 
who favor this supposition, have never supported it by the shadow of proof, or 
the semblance even of fair inferential reasoning ; and in the second place, he 
who wrote half, could have written the whole ; and in the third, and principal 
place, there are no inequalities in the poems : no dissimilar and incongruous 
parts, but all is regular and consistent, and without, in the strict sense of the 
word, bearing any resemblance to the writers of the period when Rowley is 
stated to have lived. 

Whoever examines the beautiful tragedy of Ella, will find an accurate 
adjustment of plan which precludes the possibility of its having been con- 
jointly written by different persons, at the distance of centuries. With res- 
pect, also, to the structure of the language, it is incontrovertibly modern, as 
well as uniform with itself, and exhibits the most perfect specimens of har- 
mony ; which cannot be interrupted by slight orthographical redundancies, 
nor by the sprinkling of a few uncouth and antiquated words. 

The structure of Rowley's verse is so unequivocally modern, that by substi- 
tuting the present orthography for the past, and changing two or three of the 
old words, the fact must become obvious even to those who are wholly unac- 
quainted with the barbarisms of the " olden time." As a corroboration of this 
remark, the first verse of the song to ^Ella may be adduced. 

" O thou, or what remains of thee, 
JEWii, thou darling of futurity, 
Let this, my song, bold as thy courage be, 
As everlasting — to posterity." 

But, perhaps, the most convincing proof of this modern character of Rowley's 
verse, may be derived from the commencement of the chorus in Godwin. 

" When Freedom, dress'd in blood-stain'd vest, 
To every knight her war-song sung. 
Upon her head wild weeds were spread, 
A gory anlace by her hung. 
She danced on the heath ; 
She heard the voice of death. 

Pale-eyed Affright, his heart of silver hue, 
In vain essay'd his bosom to acale, [freeze] 



APFExNDIX. 373 



She heard, enflamed, the shivering voice of woe, 
And sadness in the owlet shake the dale. 
She shook the pointed spear ; 

On high she raised her shield ; 
Her foeiflen all appear, 
And fly along the field. 
Power, with his head exalted to the skle:?, 

His spear a sun-beam, and his shield a star, 
Round, like two flaming meteors, roils his eyes. 
Stamps with his iron foot, and sounds to war: 
She sits upon a rock. 

She bends before his spear ; 
She rises from the shock, 
Wielding her own in air. 
Hard as the thunder doth she drive it on. 

And, closely mantled, guides it to his crown, 
His long sharp spear, his spreading shield, is gone : 
He falls, and falling, roUeth thousands down." 

Every reader must be struck with the modern character of these extracts, 
nor can he fail to have noticed the lyrical measure, so eminently felicitous, 
with which the preceding ode commences ; together with the bold image of 
freedom triumphing over power. If the merits of the Rowleian Controversy 
rested solely on this one piece, it would be decisive ; for no man, in the least 
degree familiar with our earlier metrical compositions, and especially if he 
were a poet, could hesitate a moment in assigning this chorus to a recent 
period. 

It is impossible not to believe that the whole of Rowley was written at first 
in modern English, and then the orthographical metamorphose commenced ; 
and to one who had prepared himself, like Chatterton, with a dictionary, al- 
ternately modern and old, and old and modern, the task of transformation was 
not difficult, even to an ordinary mind. It should be remembered also, that 
Chatterton furnished a complete glossary to the whole of Rowley. Had he 
assumed ignorance, it might have checked, without removing suspicion, but 
at present it appears inexplicable, that our sage predecessors should not have 
been convinced that one who could write, in his own person, \#th such supe- 
riority as Chatterton indisputably did, would be quite competent to give words 
to another, the meaning of which he so well understood himself 

But the thought will naturally arise, what could have prompted Chatterton, 
endued as he was, with so much original talent, to renounce his own personal 
aggrandizement, and to transfer the credit of his opulence to another. It is 
admitted to be an improvident expenditure of reputation, but no inference ad- 
vantageous to Rowley can be deduced from this circumstance. The eccen- 
tricities and aberrations of genius, have rarely been restricted by hne and 
plummet, and the present is a memorable example of perverted talent ; but all 
this may be conceded, without shaking the argument here contended for. 

There is a process in all our pursuits, and the nice inspector of associations 
can almost uniformly trace his predilections to some definite cause. This, 
doubtless, was the case with Chatterton. He found old parchments early in 



374 APPENDIX. 



life. In the first instance, it became an object of ambition to decipher the ob- 
scure. One difficulty surmounted, strengthened the capacity for conquering 
others ; perseverance gave faciUty, till at length his vigorous attention was ef- 
fectually directed to what he called " antique Idfc :" and this confirmed bias 
of his mind, connected as it was, with his inveterate proneness to impose on 
others, and supported by talents which have scarcely been equalled, reduces 
the magnified wonder of Rowley, to a plain, comprehensible question. 

Dean Milles, in his admiration of Rowley, appeared to derive pleasure from 
depreciating Chatterton, who had avowed himself the writer of that inimi- 
table poem, " The Death of Syr Charles Bawdin," but well knowing the con- 
sequences which would follow on this admission, he labored hard to impeach 
the veracity of our bard, and represented him as one who, from vanity, as- 
sumed to himself the writing of another ! Dean Milles affirms, that of this 
" Death of Syr Charles Bawdin," " A greater variety of internal proofs may 
be produced, for its authenticity, than for that of any other piece in the whole 
collection !" This virtually, was abandoning the question ; for since we know 
that Chatterton did write " The Death of Syr Charles Bawdin," we know 
that he wrote that which had stronger proofs of the authenticity of Rowley 
than all the other pieces in the collection ! 

The numerous proofs adduced of Chatterton's passion for fictitious state- 
ments ; of his intimate acquaintance with antiquated language ; of the almost 
preternatural maturity of his mind ; of the dissimilitude of Rowley's language 
to contemporaneous writers ; and of tlie obviously modern structure of all the 
compositions which the young bard produced, as the writings of Rowley and 
others, form, it is presumed, a mass of Anti-Rowleian evidence, which proves 
that Chatterton possessed that peculiar disposition, as well as those pre-emi- 
nent talents, the union of which was both necessary and equal to the great 
production of Rowley. * * * 

J. C. 



THE WEARY PILGRIM. 

Weary Pilgrim, dry thy tear, 

Look beyond these realms of night : 

Mourn not, with redemption near, 
Faint not, with the goal in sight. 

Grief and pain are needful things. 

Sent to chasten, not to slay ; 
And if pleasures have their wings, 

Sorrows quickly pass away. 



APPENDIX. 375 



Where are childhood's sighs and throes 1 
Where are youth's tumultuous fears ] 

Where are manhood's thousand woes 7 
Lost amidst the lapse of years ! 

There are treasures which to gain, 
Might a seraph's heart inspire ; 

There are joys which will remain 
When the world is wrapt in fire, 

Hope, with her expiring beam, 
May illume our last delight ; 

But our trouble soon will seem 
Like the Adsions of the night. 

We too oft remit our pace. 

And at ease in slumbers dwell ; 

We are loiterers in our race, 
And afflictions break the spell. 

Woe to him, whoe'er he be. 
Should (severest test below !) 

All around him like a sea, 

Health, and wealth, and honors, flow ! 

When unclouded suns we hail. 
And our cedars proudly wave. 

We forget their tenure frail. 

With the bounteous hand that gave. 

We on dangerous paths are bound, 
Call'd to battle and to bleed ; 

We have hostile spirits round, 
And the warrior's armor need. 

We, within, have deadlier foes. 
Wills rebellious, hearts impure ; 

God, the best physician, knows 
What the malady will cure. 

Earth is lovely ! dress'd in flowers ! 

O'er her form luxuriant thrown. 
But a loveher world is ours. 

Visible to faith alone. 

Here the balm and spicy gales, 

For a moment, fill the air ; 
Here the mutable prevails. 

Permanence alone is there. 



b76 APPENDIX. 



Heaven to gain is worth our toil ! 

Angels call us to their sphere ; 
But to time's ignoble soil 

We are bound, and will not hear. 

Heaven attracts not ! On we dream j 
Cast like wrecks upon the shore 

Where perfectidn reigns supreme, 
And adieus are heard no more. 

What is life '? a tale ! a span ! 

Swifter than the eagle's flight; 
What the boasted age of man '? 

Vanishing beneath the sight. 

Yet, our ardors and desires 

Centred, circumscribed by earth ; 

Whilst eternity retires — 

As an object nothing worth ! 

Oh, the folly of the proud ! 

Oh, the madness of the vain ! 
After every toy to crowd. 

And unwithering crowns disdain ! 

Mighty men in grand array. 

Magnates of the ages past, 
Kings and conquerors, where are they 1 

Once whose frown a world o'ercast 1 

Faded ! yet by fame enroll' d, 

With their busts entwined with bays j 
But if God his smile withhold, 

Pitiful is human praise. 

With what sadness and surprise. 
Must Immortals view our lot ; — 

Eager for the flower that dies. 
And the Amaranth heeding not. 

May we from our dreams awake, 
Love the truth, the truth obey ; 

On our night let morning break — 
Prelude of a nobler day. 

Harmony prevails above. 

Where all hearts together blend j 
Let the concords sweet of love. 

Now begin and never end. 



APPENDIX. 377 



Have we not one common sire 7 
Have we not one home in sight 1 

Let the sons of peace conspire, 
Not to sever, but unite. 

Hence, forgetful of the past, 

May we all as brethren own, 
Whom we hope to meet at last — 

Round the everlasting throne. 

Father ! source of blessedness. 
In thy strength triumphant ride ; 

Let the world thy Son confess. 
And thy name be magnified ! 

Let thy word of truth prevail. 
Scattering darkness, errors, lies ; 

Let all lands the treasure hail — 
Link that binds us to the skies. 

Let thy spirit, rich and free, 

Copious shed his power divine, 
Till (Creation's Jubilee !) 

All earth's jarring realms are thine 1 

Saints who once on earth endured — 
Beating storm and thorny way. 

Have the prize they sought secured, 
And have enter'd perfect day. 

Wiser taught, — with vision clear, 

(Kindled from the light above) 
Now their bitterest foes appear — 

Charged with blessings, fraught with love :• 

For, as earthly scenes withdrew. 
In their false, but flattering guise, 

They, rejoicing, fix'd their view — 
On the mansions in the skies. 

Art thou fearful of the end 1 

Dread not Jordan's swelling tide ; 

With the Saviour for thy friend! 
With the Spirit for thy guide ! 

Why these half-subdued alarms— 

At the prospect of thy flight 1 
Has thy Father's house no charms ? — 

There to join the Saints in Light 1 



.i78 APPENDIX. 



Terrors banish from thy breast, 
Hope must solace, faith sustain ; 

Thou art journeying on to rest, 
And with God shalt hve and reign. 

Then fruition, like the morn. 

Will unlock her boundless store ; — 
Roses bloom without a thorn, 
And the day-star set no more. 

But, an ocean lies between — 
Stormy, to be crossed alone ; 

With no ray to intervene — 

O'er the cold and dark unknown ! 

Lo ! a soft and soothing voice 

Steals like music on my ears ; — 
" Let the drooping heart rejoice; 
See ! a glorious dawn appears! " 
• 
"When thy parting hours draw near, 

And thou trembling view'st the last ; 
Christ and only Christ can cheer, 
And o'er death a radiance cast !" 

Weary Pilgrim, dry thy tear, 

Look beyond these shades of night ; 
Mourn not with Redemption near, 

Faint not with the goal in sight. 



J. C. 



Bristol Marcn, 9, 1846.